Former classmates of Miguna Miguna, relatives and neighbours in Magina village, Nyando sub County, are still disturbed by the Miguna deportation saga.
Barrack Onyango shared a class with Miguna, Form One B, at Onjiko Boys High School, and his description of the NRM general conforms to that of Miguna’s family.
“While in primary School, Miguna was in Apondo while I was in Ayweyo RC Primary Schol. But we were close friends and met almost every evening, and when we were both admitted at Onjiko, it was so fulfilling for us,” said Onyango.
He said they walked almost ten kilometres daily to and from school, and never did they experience any differences of confrontation.
Onyango said Miguna had very few friends, and mostly spent his time reading, and doing domestic chores.
“The only incident I saw Miguna fall on the wrong arms of the law was coming late to school once in a while and in those cases we were together and the teachers could compromise punishing us because they well understood the distance we had to cover to get to school,” he said.
However, he says Miguna’s criticism dates back to his time as a student. Onyango said teachers were not offended to Miguna’s critical views and questions in class as the move helped other students to learn more and view issues from different viewpoints.
He said he was good in Kiswahili, having lived in Tanzania shortly, while Miguna was a guru in History, English and Geography.
In the neighbouring Kimira clan, another Miguna’s classmate at Apondo Primary School described him as a visionary man who valued academic competition.
“I later joined Homa Bay High School while Miguna went to Onjiko, but still the competition went on. Most of his stories were about academics,” said the man who is now a primary school teacher.
At Apondo School, head teacher Duncan Otiende spoke of an exemplary record left by Miguna in the school, having been a focused and principled man.
According to the teacher, the school has since reaped from Miguna’s love for education.
“Most of the Primary Schools around use wooden desks for pupils, but our school has chairs and lockers, courtesy of Miguna. He has been one of the people who pass by the school to ask if the school is facing any challenges and he intervenes,” said Otiende.
A chat with those who saw him grew gave a picture of a man they never foresaw in politics, and whose life was that of a pure village boy whose love for fishing and looking after cattle had it satisfied.
At home, those who know him call him ‘Josy’, the short form of his Christian name Joshua, a name he inherited from his father.
“When someone say Josy is a Canadian then we feel it is an insult to our family. Some of our inherited property such as land are registered in his name, and it cannot take someone more than a day to establish his roots,” his elder brother Erick Ondiek said of the controversy facing Miguna’s citizenship.
Angeline Aoko, Ondiek’s wife remembers vividly the day she had to carry the young Miguna to hospital after he was pricked by a hook while fishing along River Nyando.
Nobody had known Miguna’s career ambition, until while he was in high school when he disclosed that he wanted to be a lawyer, a career he developed from his love for History and English subjects in school.
Ondiek said after Miguna’s stint in Canada, he came back home and expressed his interest in politics, all Ondiek rejected following the nature of politics in the country.
“In 2007 I told Miguna not to go into politics as it required a lot of money, needed fame which Miguna lacked at that time, and that the then MP (Erick Nyamunga) was so popular and Miguna had no chance,” he said.
But all these Miguna ignored, choosing to try his luck in Nyando Parliamentary seat. He did not make it. In 2017, he tried his luck in Nairobi Governor Position, and failed again.