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Miguna leaves Kenya quietly

COUNTIES
By Ombati and Amran | July 17th 2012

By Cyrus Ombati and Athman Amran

A former advisor to Prime Minister Raila Odinga has left the country without fanfare hours after he accused some of the PM’s allies of threatening him.

Miguna Miguna has reportedly embarked on “a worldwide tour to promote” his new controversial book, 'Peeling Back the Mask’,  which has attracted sharp reactions with allegations of abuse of office and corruption in the PM's office. The book also claims that ODM had a role in the 2007 post-election violence with a strategy to isolate one ethnic community.

Miguna left the country with his family Monday night and declined to divulge his next destination. Sources close to him he was embarking on promoting the book with his first stop being Canada.

He leaves behind a cloud of dust kicked by his controversial book which made wild allegations on the happenings around his former boss Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Immigration officers said he left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Monday night aboard an international airliner headed for Netherlands. It is not clear when he will be back.

Those close to him said he had told them he was on a worldwide tour to promote the book which was his memoirs.

In an interview with Standard Digital, Miguna said he was targeting selling 500,000 copies in North America alone.

“Someone bought a bulk of 2,000 copies on the launch date, another 1,000 were sold at the launch, and book sellers took 2,000.

"By one week we expect to have sold 10,000 copies…please let the country know.” Miguna said.

“The book will do half a million copies in North America alone that is a guarantee,” the author said.

A visit to his Runda home revealed heaps of copies stored in various packages.

His aides at the Runda home said he had left for  Canada and refused to say more about the travel plans or when he is expected back home.

He left hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered police to investigate him over allegations that he is privy to ODM’s participation in the 2008 post-election violence.

Tobiko said withholding information over an alleged crime is criminal itself and asked commissioner of police to summon Miguna and get information he claimed he has over the crimes. He said there was need for Miguna to record a statement with the police on what he knows for them to weigh if it constitutes anything that can be relied on as evidence. Tobiko said he was concerned why Miguna has been holding the said information for the last for years, if indeed what he says is true.

Some police officers had apparently advised him to leave the country as soon as possible because it was not safe for him to continue staying in the country in the wake of the launch of the book. Miguna had even received more security seconded to him by the state, some of whom were seen surrounding his compound on fears of an attack on Monday.

One of the PM’s aides who is adversely mentioned in the book Caroli Omondi has instructed lawyer George Oraro to sue for damages over for defaming him.

A lobby group allied to Odinga's presidential campaign asked the DPP to open charges against Miguna over allegations that he is privy to ODM’s participation in the 2008 post-election violence.

The Friends of Raila (Fora) group urged Tobiko to prosecute Miguna for withholding evidence on the post-election violence.

Speaking at the launch of his book on Saturday, Mr Miguna said he was privy to the ODM campaign strategies and was present when the party declared that the 2007 General Election was a contest of 41 tribes against one.

FORA's legal advisor Anthony Oluoch on Monday rubbished Miguna's book as an exaggerated dossier that is ill timed and malicious.

“If indeed Miguna was aware that some MP’s allied to ODM participated in the post-election violence, why didn't he hand the information to the ICC?” posed Mr Oluoch.

FORA took issue with the title of the book, which they say is crafted to give the reader the impression that what the book contains is top secret. The book discusses the successes, challenges and failures of both the ODM and Grand Coalition Government of which he was a key member.

Miguna is planning to sell at least 10,000 books this week, which translates to Sh33 million at an average of Sh3,300 per book. Soon after the book was launched, the former advisor to the PM saw two publishers take over 4,000 books, which helped Miguna pocket a cool Sh13.2 million.

The memoir runs to 614 pages and is divided into eight parts (Books one to eight) comprising 21 chapters and it’s available in book stores in Kenya, the United Kingdom and North America, as well as online via Amazon.com.

Miguna has faced tough criticism and opposition from the PM and his supporters since the book was released over the weekend, but he says he is ready to face anyone in court over the content in the book.

 


 

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