What you need to know:
- In July the garrulous writer caused a stir with kiss-and-tell memoirs on his tenure as PM’s aide
Combative author and political activist Miguna Miguna has released a new book he claims is even more controversial than his memoirs.
The book, Kidneys for the King: De-forming the Status Quo in Kenya, which will be launched at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi on Saturday, will be closely watched, coming as it does barely two weeks before the General Election.
The book comes five months after the release of Miguna’s memoirs, Peeling Back the Mask, a Quest for Justice in Kenya, which kicked up a storm for its scathing assessment of Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s tenure in the grand coalition.
While some termed Peeling Back the Mask the most important insider account of the workings of the government since John Githongo exposed the Anglo Leasing scandal, its critics saw it as a vindictive venture meant to bring down the Prime Minister. Peeling Back the Mask was published last July.
Miguna’s subsequent marketing tours attracted disdain and adoration in equal measure. At one time, he was roughed up by a crowd in Mombasa.
But speaking to Saturday Nation on Friday, Mr Miguna said he would not be cowed and that he would market his books vigorously.
“I am not worried about the criminals. I will concentrate on my lawful thing,” he said.
He said he had printed 10,000 copies of Kidneys for the King that will sell locally at Sh2,700.
The launch will mark Mr Miguna’s return to the limelight after he ended his marketing tours and embarked on a brief campaign for the Nairobi governor’s seat. He later pulled out of the race.
In Kidneys for the King, Mr Miguna claims Mr Odinga is being protected from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.
He says he met ICC prosecutors last October, but his attempts to give evidence against Mr Odinga were rebuffed “as they weren’t interested in any evidence against him.”
“As I met the investigators in Nairobi when the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, visited Kenya in October 2012, they suddenly showed no interest “in evidence that will not help us nail the four accused persons,” reads an excerpt of the 370-page book.
“It was quite clear to me that a decision had been made (somewhere) to extend immunity to the two coalition partners,” he says in a chapter titled “Of ‘Mad Men’ and Fascism.”
He wonders why the rules were “being bent in the Kenyan case.”
In another chapter, ‘Rayila, the ‘Nettle Sting’”, Mr Miguna questions the PM’s academic credentials.
Mr Odinga, who is presidential candidate for the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy in next month’s poll, has been cleared to run for the presidency by the IEBC after he presented the required documents, among them a university degree.
“Rayila was expelled in grade six, two years before he could sit for his KAPE. Only those who passed KAPE could proceed to secondary school,” Mr Miguna writes.
He says it is unclear from Badejo’s book, “the story Rayila told me and the information in his resume, if Rayila did and passed the Competitive Entrance Examination (CEE), which was done in grade four before a pupil could proceed from primary to intermediate level.”
Dr Babafemi Badejo is the author of Mr Odinga’s authorised biography, Raila Odinga: An Enigma in Kenyan Politics.
Mr Miguna claims by the time ‘Rayila’ left Kenya for the GDR (German Democratic Republic); he hadn’t completed intermediate school and was not qualified to proceed to high school.
Mr Miguna also revisits the question of Mr Odinga’s wealth. “IT IS NOT A CRIME to be wealthy”, Rayila declares in Badejo’s book. “The problem arises when people use office to accumulate”, he adds.
He warned that Kidneys for the King would be more “explosive” than Peeling Back the Mask.
But even before the book is launched, it is already drawing mixed reactions with the head of the Raila campaign Eliud Owallo terming the author an irritating irrelevance.
“Miguna Miguna is a goon for hire by our political competitors. To us, he is an irritating irrelevance that will not affect the PM’s political fortunes; just as the last one did not. We are treating his machinations with the contempt they deserve,” Mr Owallo said.
Describing Mr Miguna as a mischief maker, Barrack Muluka, a publisher and a former communications adviser of Mr Odinga’s, said he expected the book to be a lot more unsavoury than the first one, but warned it could backfire.
“He will not only be launching the book, but will he also be walking all over the place as it is aimed at spoiling for his former boss,” Mr Muluka said.
But cultural analyst Joyce Nyairo told the literary community to take back the review of literary materials from politicians.
“The reason why I extensively reviewed Peeling Back the Mask is that politicians were dictating how we should read it and where Miguna should be categorised.”