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Spurned advisor dining on dish of contempt

By | January 12th 2012

Okech Kendo

One man has diagnosed ‘Migunasia’, with insight into the ‘reformer’ who once advised the Prime Minister on ‘collision’ affairs.

Justice Mohamed Warsame said of Miguna Miguna, who spent two decades in economic exile in Canada: "He is a man who exhibits mental and emotional fits in his defence of issues and principles which adhere to him ... At the time when he was in good books with the Prime Minister, he came across as the son and heart of the Prime Minister."

Justice Warsame said this early last month when Miguna lost a suit against the Government. He lost on grounds he was a political appointee, who is not covered by Public Service Commission regulations.

Justice Warsame ruled the Prime Minister’s office had a right to "discipline" Miguna. Yet the man has refused discipline, exhibiting pride with hubris that would scare potential employers and clients if he got into private legal practice.

It takes a man savouring illusions of grandeur to think of pride – a vice – as a virtue. Pride, it is always said, precedes a fall. Not that Miguna is about to fall, but the man is not relishing his dish of contemplate with decorum.

Contempt, it is said, is a dish better served cold and without affection. Contempt, Robert Greene says in the 36th of 48 Laws of Power, is the prerogative of the king. The king sees what he wants to see. What he ignores is as good as dead. This is the power you have when you speak through eloquent silence. But what should infuriate Miguna more is that other ‘princes’ have played the contempt card on him as well.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, Ugenya MP James Orengo, and Bondo MP Oburu Oginga are yet to notice Miguna’s rage against the trio he calls the PM’s ‘power men’.

But a gentle response to Muguna’s machismo-loaded hubris came from Caroli Omondi, whom he treats as a ‘junior secretary’. Imagine the PM sending a mere Caroli Omondi – with a Caroline touch – to deliver an olive branch to Miguna. Miguna won’t take it after he claims the PM met him on "his own terms".

Miguna would return to advise the PM if Miguna gets Miguna’s wish to report to the PM ‘directly’.

His former god

Yet the failure to provoke the PM does not give Miguna the hint of contempt. Miguna does not understand that a slanderous attack on the king wears out fast when it is monotonous.

Pietro Aretino, a Roman servant boy of the early 16th century understood this when he published satirical poems ridiculing the pope’s love for a pet elephant. Such insolence places a person in the public eye, but persistence takes a malicious drift that hurts the slanderer more.

During the good times when you cut the Prime Minister, it was always Miguna who bled. The giant man who has been disowned by his Nyando clansmen bled in defence of the Prime Minister so often one would have thought they were joined at the hip – forever.

Many editors I know have hate messages from Miguna for daring to criticise his former god, or for simply declining to publish Miguna’s articles.

Colleague Fred Mbugua, known for his intellectual insight into issues, was the first to taste Miguna’s caustic tongue just before the 2007 General Election.

Many did as well. The hate messages grew in vitriol as the man settled in public office. Many more came in this week with mounting righteous rage of a spurned advisor – a man more sinned against than sinning.

When the man was ejected from the PM’s office five months ago, he came out bitter, tongue blazing. Then, Miguna looked liked he had good reason to enjoin the public in his sulking.

He made it known he had servants to pay; he had five children to feed; he had school fees obligations for the Miguna clan, and bills for the Runda house. He said he had medical bills to pay, and cried about the medical insurance he stood to lose for his family. One needed to be ignorant of his right to a livelihood to accept such dispossession by turning the other cheek.

Belligerent Miguna returned from Canada before the 2007 General Election, to settle a door away from the President’s office.

He believed so stubbornly that once Prime Minister Raila Odinga was with him, no one could be against him. Yet it’s Miguna’s "you-must-know-people-attitude" that betrayed him.

Miguna’s bitterness because of a livelihood lost has evolved into immoderate malice, tempered with slanderous attacks on the man he once worshipped with sycophantic abandon. The advisor turned ‘revealer’ is writing a book about the good times they had. Sour grapes you might say.

Blow your horn

Raila was a "great reformer" when the PM’s patronage guaranteed Miguna a livelihood. Now that Miguna has been ejected from the PM’s Office, the PM is a "bad man who has mistreated his advisor twice".

The word ‘Migunasia’ does not exist, but for lack of choice diction to describe obsessive display of self-interest, it shall do. For no one can blow your horn better than you. For those who believe in this, it is always, "me, myself and I".

There is a way out though for Miguna, gutsy enough to challenge his benefactor, with slanderous glee. Miguna can run for president so Miguna can report to Miguna. He is in good company, but I see him yelling with renewed fury at this.

Writer is The Standard’s Managing Editor Quality and Production.

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Appears Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) does have a security branch, hopefully complete with the gizmo that has replaced the guards' nightstick.