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Physical attacks to Miguna barbaric

By - | August 27th 2012 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Following the three events in Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa, it is now clear Miguna Miguna, the former advisor to Premier Raila Odinga and author of the Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya, might not be able to market the book. The physical attacks by youths must have doomed his aim, despite his a luta continua (the struggle continues) spirit displayed.

What is not clear, however, is why the rowdy youths have to get into the private halls where Miguna addresses the public. The fact that these events are not being held at public places like Uhuru Park, it means only interested parties should attend.

In Nakuru, Miguna addressed what the media described as ‘mammoth crowd’ about justice and governorship in Kenya. This was at Nakuru town hall. In Kisumu, his meeting was held at a private hotel — Lakeside City Hotel, and in Mombasa it was at the Castle Royal Hotel. Why would someone who dislikes what Miguna is doing or has no business believing his ‘rumours’ get into these private high-class hotels only to boo, heckle or physically attack Miguna?

I can’t help believe a media reporting that residents of Nakuru said the youth (who attacked Miguna) were hired by a prominent ODM politician to heckle and cause scuffles during the book event because the memoir has exposed the dark secrets of the PM’s office.

Freedom to make claims

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Even if these events were to be held in open places, Miguna, like any other Kenyan, has the freedom of speech, and this must be assured in this new Kenya. Miguna has the right to air his view through his publication without hindrance. In my view, that’s why Raila has not attacked him. He has given him freedom to empty all his claims.

Therefore, it is condemnable and immoral for these youths, for whatever reason, to try to stop, through violence, Miguna from achieving his mission.

These youths are missing a very opportune chance, though unexplored, to get explanations from Miguna about the allegations he makes against the PM. Shouting down Miguna publicly won’t solve a thing.

It is high time we got civilised. If anyone requires explanation from Miguna, the best thing to do is to go to court. In court, everything can be solved using means that would cause very minimal friction among the parties involved.

Furthermore, it is the premier who is supposed to challenge Miguna. It is not the work of civilians to face him. We should therefore wait for Raila’s action, which he recently stated very clearly: he won’t sue Miguna.

Police should always be alert every time Miguna  holds these meetings to prevent chaos.

{David Mwaura, Njoro}


Miguna should be advised that it was enough publicity to launch his book in Nairobi. If the book is good it will automatically sell and if it’s not, it will not.

These countrywide tours could spoil the book’s ‘good intentions’ of questing for justice in Kenya. They will create doubts among many Kenyans who had embraced the book as a genuine piece of literature.

The tours could also easily serve to confirm his critics’ claims that his book was purely a political tool to deface the PM ahead of elections.

It’s time Miguna understood kizuri chajiuza, kibaya chajitembeza (a good thing sells itself while a bad one advertises itself). Why take a ‘good book’ to the villages for sale?

Though I don’t speak for the youth attacking Miguna, there is a feeling he is a ‘traitor for hire’.

Can he undo this image?

{Justin Osey Peter, Mombasa}

It’s funny how the same people who so often use the term ‘goons’ to deride their opponents, who so often talk and write of ‘impunity’, seem to have either unleashed their own ‘goons’ to act with ‘impunity’, or at the very least refrained from condemning their actions.

However, no one should be let to make a mockery of the new Constitution and revamped Bill of Rights.

{Concerned Kenyan, Nairobi}


Judicial reforms must be felt far and wide

In exercise of power conferred to it by the Constitution, the Judiciary has embarked on a second phase aimed at restoration of its lost glory.

The judicial reforms which kicked off after the new leadership was sworn in have now moved to another level of judicial transformation. This informed the recent launch of a blue print called Judiciary Transformation Framework that outlined a raft of measures to be undertaken over a period of time to ensure full realisation of a vibrant and a newlook Judiciary.

The annual Judicial Marches Week was held simultaneously in all parts of the country during which judges, magistrates, kadhis, other court users and ordinary Kenyans interacted freely. In Nairobi, Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga addressed a forum that brought together key players in field of criminal justice.

Speakers who included minister for Justice Eugene Wamalwa, AG, DPP and the director of CID, praised the initiative and pledged to support the Judiciary.

However, I challenge the CJ to live by his word and promise to Kenyans: that soon the Judiciary will have the confidence of the public. Let him ensure Kenyans access justice easily, fairly and affordably.

{Joseph Mutua, Nairobi}


TSC Act could help improve sector

The signing into law of the Teachers’ Service Commission Bill, 2012 by the President is a plus to the education sector. That the TSC will now have the autonomy to manage teachers’ affairs should help improve standards of education.

It will be easier especially for TSC to deal with cases of remuneration concerning teachers. Now that teachers have called for a strike that threatens to disrupt learning and exams, the TSC should move into action and negotiate with teachers to avert the strike.

The TSC has a better understanding of the teachers’ plight than the Ministry of Education. The looming strike will be a real acid test to the commission.

{Philip Mbindyo, Sawagongo}

It’s unfair to punish chiefs over massacre

To endlessly hear the Government issue futile warnings of dire consequences to perpetrators of heinous crimes against innocent Kenyans, instead of taking firm and decisive action, is tiring.

This paralysis in acting is irksome, especially when innocent citizens are being butchered like animals in an abattoir. Recent killings in Tana Delta, where more than 50 residents were butchered over pasture land disputes, were a national shame for which we must bow heads in shame and see some heads in top leadership roll.

For crying out loud, can the Government do something tangible to end this imbecility besides the usual empty rhetoric?

Some leaders seem convinced an MP and assistant minister masterminded the latest attacks. But why would a lawmaker, a person in whom a lot of trust has been put, resort to such bestiality in the name of retaining leadership or power? Why would right thinking Kenyans take up arrows, guns and machetes and use them indiscriminately on fellow neighbours at the prompting of some moron?

The attacks were not spontaneous. They were premeditated and retaliatory. Security agencies should have gotten a whiff. Where were they? Is the NIS sleeping on the job in this volatile region characterised by tribal animosity?

Ironically, some chiefs and assistants have lost job thanks to the inactivity of the NIS. With all fairness the Government should not abdicate its responsibility to citizens by finding scapegoats in chiefs.

Providing security and gathering intelligence is the work of the security forces, not defenseless, often ill-equipped administrators like chiefs and their assistants.

I have argued before that the absence of checks and balances in positions of leadership leaves us at the mercy of sociopaths and mentally-unhinged individuals masquerading as leaders.

The need to adopt the integrity Bill in its original form should now be apparent to all and Parliament must live up to its billing, it has abandoned us to the elements for far much too long.

Similarly, Kenyan voters should do a good job at the ballot come the next elections. It’s only our vote that can save us from this situation.

{Alexander Chagema, Kakamega}

Move on pay right

The move by minister for Education Mutula Kilonzo to support the harmonisation of the teachers’ salaries with those of other civil servants is welcome.

This has been underscored by the TSC who have further stated they will write to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to have a ‘balanced pay’ like other civil servants.

This move is long overdue. Rid off teachers’ misery. They deserve better pay as motivation.

{Makari Elly, Kakamega}



Rowdy youth disrupts Miguna’s Coast event

According to my basic knowledge (social studies — primary school level), the work of the police is to maintain law and order. They are also mandated to protect anyone who feels his/her life is in danger.

It is this light that the same law gives police the power to arrest anyone who breaches peace and later arraign him/her in a court of law. In my view, police failed these roles in the case of Miguna Miguna’s attack in Mombasa over the weekend when he tried to popularise his book Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya.

The police had a chance to preempt the physical attack on Miguna (see photo, right). So how safe are we, if a Kenyan with full rights like Miguna could be roughed up in the presence of police officers?

I am waiting to see what will happen to the hooligans who attacked Miguna. They were captured by media clips and photos. They can be identified from the footage for prosecution.

How we handle this ‘simple’ incidents will greatly determine how successful we would avert a political turmoil as we approach elections or deal with an actual one. It is time we instilled sanity in politics or we will have ourselves to blame if we go the 2008 way.

The youth of this nation must understand that regardless of our political views or tribes, it’s very wrong to assault anyone.

In fact the police need to teach those in Coast that attacked Miguna the lesson.

Jarim Omogi — National Youth Leader Ford Asili and Human Rights Activist



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