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Miguna Miguna’s personal demons come out to haunt him

By Prof Makau Mutua | Published Sun, December 11th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 11th 2016 at 00:32 GMT +3

As a boy, I was taught by dad that I shouldn’t take advantage of fragile people. That lesson has stuck with me throughout my life — and to good effect. Today, I will make an exception to that rule. That’s because the subject of my pen is no other than lawyer Miguna Miguna. And it’s not because Mr Miguna is a loudmouth. He shares that character flaw with many in public life. No — it’s because the man with the same name twice has opened the door. I won’t call it the door to ridicule. Nyet — it’s the door to be peeled like an onion. To use his own term, “peel back the mask.” He seeks public office, and must bear scrutiny.

Mr Miguna is one of a kind. What kind is the question. I have watched him because he pops up often in the press and social media. He’s not a cartoon, but he’s as close to one as a living being can be. That’s why there should be an article entitled Miguna’s Inferior Complex. I have concluded that there are three things that truly terrify Mr Miguna — women, ODM’s Raila Odinga, and white people. The three are disparate but they are joined in Mr Miguna’s mind with his own inadequacies.

Methinks that the three are so pathological in his psyche that they have become an irreducible core of his identity. Perhaps only the insightful Dr Sigmund Freud could have understood him.

This is what I see. Every time Mr Miguna goes mano-a-mano with a woman, Mr Odinga, or a white person, he discombobulates. The three are such a terror to his noggin that every time he approaches one of them, the little boy in him comes out screaming in horror.

He goes utterly bonkers — completely bananas. His now infamous encounter with politician Esther Passaris on the defunct Jeff Koinange Live was the textbook definition of the complex of inferiority. The man — or perhaps more accurately the little boy in the man — lost it. Like the mythic Dracula, he bared his literal fangs in fury before the whole country. As the Akamba say, “asi!” or “ngai!” Jaws dropped from Kitui to Kisumu.

The country witnessed a grown man come unglued on live television. He said things that have never been uttered on live TV in Kenya. He verbally assaulted Ms Passaris and menacingly reveled in his own filthy words. It was such an incredible display of misogyny that even the most bona fide and certifiable chauvinists only mutter them in the privacy of their bathrooms.

In his defence, which is an abuse of the word, Mr Miguna blamed his calumny against Ms Passaris on sarcasm. That was a first for me. I’ve never heard the word rape used in humour, comedy, or sarcasm. It’s sadistic to think so. There’s nary a crime so vile as rape — real or threatened.

I’ve heard some morons argue that Ms Passaris started it, or that Mr Koinange, the show’s host, made Mr Miguna do it. I agree Mr Koinange, who’s a friend and on whose show I appeared many times, should have immediately shut Mr Miguna down. He should have kicked Mr Miguna off the show right there and then. He later rightly apologised to the country.

But Mr Koinange doesn’t run Mr Miguna’s mouth. Nor can anything Ms Passaris said be used to justify Mr Miguna’s ungoverned language. In my view, Mr Miguna committed the offence of defamation on live TV. But he did worse than that — he told boys and men to attack and demean women in the vilest manner.

I will tell you why Mr Miguna is terrified by white people. In his assault on Ms Passaris, he incredibly told her she would be “ugly” were she not a light-skinned black woman. Let’s chew on that statement for a moment. By that statement, Mr Miguna was telling us that light skin is more “beautiful” than, and “superior” to, dark skin. Translation — white people are more beautiful and superior to black people. Let’s bring it home.

Mr Miguna himself is a very dark-skinned black man. By his own logic, he deems himself “ugly,” “inferior,” and “subhuman” to white people or light-skinned blacks. Mr Miguna is what in the street is called a “self-hating Negro.” He’s internalised racist self-hatred of himself and blacks.

Mr Miguna’s furious reaction to Ms Passaris is only equal to the fear and terror he feels before Mr Odinga. When Mr Odinga, then PM, gave Mr Miguna the boot for insubordination, Mr Miguna publicly said he had been “brutalised like a dog.”

His subsequent writings are indelible evidence of the terror he felt Mr Odinga inflicted on him. His acerbic and over-the-top attacks on Mr Odinga since then sound like cries for help. That’s why he’s unelectable.

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