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Villagers burn Miguna's effigy

By Nicholas Anyuor | Published Wed, July 18th 2012 at 00:00, Updated July 18th 2012 at 08:37 GMT +3

By Nicholas Anyuor

Villagers angered by the writings of Miguna Miguna carried his effigy demonstrated against him and even bought a coffin which they burned and poured ashes in a river.

In small tiny dusty and rusty township of Ahero near Lake Victoria, there were emotional reactions laced with political messages just because Miguna Miguna had attacked Prime Minister Raila Odinga, a man they considered a hero in his book Peeling Back the Mask.

Women, youths and the elderly people alike demonstrated along the Kisumu-Nairobi highway, causing a traffic snarl-up for over three hours.

Chants, ululations and whistle blowing rent the air as villagers jigged in fits of anger and protest.

They were not done. Armed with the coffin the demonstrators sang funeral dirges and sounded drums of mourning borrowed from the Luo rituals of death and cleansing and performed routines required in fending off evils that cause death.

Earlier, the demonstrators threatened to stage a mock burial at Miguna’s home in Buoye, few Kilometres from Ahero township, but it was later shelved and the effigy of Miguna and a ‘coffin’ were instead burnt to ashes at Ahero-Kisii junction.

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And the ashes too were sprinkled on River Nyando hoping the evil spirits flow all the way to Egypt leaving behind a ‘cleansed village.

The protesters, were led by Nyando MP, Fred Outa, prepared the coffin from cartons together with an effigy of Miguna Miguna, which they carried shoulder high along the road before burning them.

Some of the placards carried by the protesters had unpublishable graffiti.

The ‘coffin’ that had a red cross over it had an inscription, “R.I.P Miguna,’ as demonstrators gave armed police hectic time to control the traffic along the Kisumu-Nairobi highway.

They claimed he has been a bad child of the village who does not obey his people. We are fed up with him,” said a demonstrator who only identified himself as Ochieng’.

The protesters started the demonstration in Ahero town, towards Kisumu and then back to Ahero where the MP addressed them before they proceeded to Ahero junction to burn the effigy and the ‘coffin.’

Before burning them, they staged a traditional celebration tero buru, which is normally performed when the community is chasing away the evil spirits, mostly ones that they believe death.

The elders and some civic leaders who carried the Luo traditional clubs, rungu, lined in front of the ODM office as the ‘coffin’ was placed before them, where they bashed Miguna that he was no longer a recognized son of people of Nyando.

“We don’t support him at all in this area. We need a man who respects his people. Miguna is not a respectful son,” said Mzee Adhiambo Lomo.

The area OCPD Patrick Mbarire said there was tension and security would be availed to ensure the family of Miguna is not exposed to risk.

“Security is fine. Some of the claims are  about security of the brother, but we are here to save the situation in case,” he said.

However, Mr Outa advised youths against planning to attack Miguna’s brother. He said that the demonstrators were only concerned with what they were doing in Ahero and no one was planning to proceed to Miguna’s brother’s home.

“We have no problem with the family at home. No one is planning to do that. Our peaceful demonstration was in Ahero and it ends there,” he said.

Earlier, family of former Miguna in his ancestral Magina village claimed they are living in fear after claims youths were planning to attack them over the contents of his newbook.

When The Standard visited the only Miguna’s brother, Erick Ondiek Miguna at his home in Magina, he said that he had received information yesterday morning that some people were planning to attack him over Miguna’s book.

He said that he heard that demonstrators were to proceed to his home and burn his houses as a show of solidarity against his brother Miguna Miguna.

“I don’t know what is wrong with people. I am not Miguna Miguna. I don’t even want to be a politician and I am not one. Why do they have to threaten me? I am a humble Kenyan and I have to be loyal to the Government,” he said.

He said he was forced to call the area District Commissioner and the OCPD over the matter who had promised to send him security officers to help him save the situation.

“I have talked to the police and they have promised me security over this. I have my family and I have to protect them. What do you think will happen if they come and meet my sons here? If they want Miguna they go to his home in Nairobi,” he added.


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