Tag Archives: Miguna Miguna


The hypocrisy/double-speak of the pockets of Kenyans now pulling out the “Rule of Law; Adherence to the Constitution” contortionism in the Miguna Miguna saga would be infuriating were it not so obvious and/or so predictable.

It is maddening because of the corrosive impact the convenient and selective call for adherence to the rule of law continues to have on the long-term viability of Kenya’s transition into a society of law/order and equality of its citizens before her laws.

It is predictable because this is not the first time these same pockets of the country have supported the weaponization of the country’s legal system – against opponents of those they support – in this case the incumbent Jubilee Party

Yes M-Sqd is a brusque and cantankerous loud-mouth – almost to a fault. But aside from the fact that he is NOT the only brusque and cantankerous loud-mouth trolling Kenya’s socio-political landscape or that being so is not against the law, when one juxtaposes the man’s brashness alongside the Building Bridges Initiative’s (BBI) stated need to “build bridges”, presumably between Kenyans of ALL stripes and political persuasions, then the only viable outcome in what Jeff Koinange referred to as a “quagmire” would have been to allow the man back into the country – consistent with the many stated goals of the initiative including the now meaningless:

“Humane Government, predicated on equality, freedom, democracy, social justice, human rights and the rule of law” emptiness. (“Building Bridges to a United Kenya: From a Nation of Blood ties to a Nation of Ideals”)

Even more important than reflecting the “building bridges” spirit of the yet-to-be-formalized initiative is the undeniable fact:

The ruling Jubilee regime can allow Miguna back into the country in full compliance with the rulings of Justice Weldon Korir and/or at a minimum, consistent with what can loosely be described as “supervisorial/prosecutorial discretion”.

At the drop of a dime and as it has done repeatedly, the Jubilee regime can set aside (“ignore”) the supposed legal requirements articulated by its spokesman, the unbelievably incompetent Col. (Rtd.) Cyrus Oguna, during the former soldier’s choppy and rambling articulation of the government’s position re: Miguna Miguna’s return to the country of his birth and allow the exiled lawyer back into Kenya – PERIOD.

My take is that were Miguna Miguna anything/anyone OTHER than the loud and brash articulator of the very hypocrisy Kenya’s current socio-political zeitgeist, his return to Nairobi would be a non-issue.
Why Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime refuses to allow the man to return to his country of birth remains a mystery, but I have my take:

In Miguna Miguna, a failed contestant for the gubernatorial seat for Nairobi County in 2017, Kenyans have a voice that has forcefully, unapologetically and consistently articulated near-EVERYTHING that is wrong with the government of Uhuru Kenyatta (and unfortunately**, with Raila Odinga).

** – I say “unfortunately” because I am on record supporting the ideals Raila Odinga supposedly stood for AND run on in the 2013 and 2017 Elections – the latter being the nullified Round 1. Raila/NASA did not compete in the re-election and Uhuru “won” with 98% of the votes re-casted! Notwithstanding, as much as the “handshake” between the two men – UMK and RAO – ushered “peace” and “stability” into an arguably failed state or one teetering on failed statehood, RAO’s support credentialized one of the Horn of Africa’s most corrupt and inept government and in so doing, legitimized a certified kakistocracy AND kleptocracy. Raila A. Odinga, the undeniable face of Kenya’s struggle for multi-partyism, incorruptible government and her opposition is now forever linked with a Jubilee government that many see as the most corrupt government in Kenya’s storied 60years of independence.

Allowing Miguna back into Kenya would not only shine a spotlight on this reality, it may just give other Kenyans so inclined to speak out against the “handshake” and its offspring “Building Bridges Initiative” (BBI) boondoggle the impetus (courage) to do so.

Additionally, Miguna Miguna “lost” the governorship to one Mike “Sonko” Mbuvi whose term atop the country’s and one of the Horn of Africa’s economic and political jurisdiction has been a flaming fiasco. Late last year, Sonko was arrested trying to flee the country and currently faces “economic crimes” charges as laid out by the country’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). For good measure, Sonko, the sitting governor of Nariobi County is reported to have escaped from Mombasa’s Shimo La Tewa Prison “some 20 years ago” (“Shimo La Tewa wants governor back to complete his sentence” – Standard Digital, Dec. 2019)

Miguna Miguna’s touchdown at JKIA, in the Sonko-led Nairobi County no less, would be the classic: I hate to say I told you so – but…. Moment for the man.

In short, allowing the dual Canadian/Kenyan passport holder what I can only refer to as a “triumphant” return to the proverbial (and literal) scene of the crime would be a “Made for Miguna Miguna” dog-and-pony show the incumbent Jubilee Party wants to avoid at all cost.

Unfortunately, in so doing, Uhuru Kenyatta’s government only continues to highlight its ineptitude and its cowardice while rising the exiled activist’s already high profile.

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An Honest Day’s Work – Is that demeaning?

So Kenya’s self-appointed “peeler of masks” Miguna Miguna has “peeled” yet another “mask” by revealing that Gem MP, Jakoyo Midiwo was a taxi driver and a mortuary attendant when he was living in the US in the late 1990s. The author of Peeling Back the Mask; A Quest for Justice in Kenya went on to say that Mr. Midiwo, a current member of parliament “later returned to Kenya without anything to show for having lived in the US for more than a decade”; this in spite the fact that he, Mr. Midiwo is a legislature for the good people of Gem. And in typical Miguna Miguna fashion, the former aide to Prime Minister Raila Odinga concluded that “without his blood relationship to the Odingas, he (Midiwo) would be a total failure…


Like Jakoyo Midiwo, I came to the United States standing on the shoulders of friends and family; all who came together to raise funds for my plane ticket and initial living expenses. Like Mr. Midiwo, I did jobs/assignments Mr. Miguna would find less-than-appealing to support and put myself through college. In short, my life in America, seemingly like that of Mr. Midiwo and as chronicled in my book Wuodha: My journey from Kenya to these United States was bumpy with some very dark moments. It was also made possible by others without who I may have been “a total failure”. I will also point out that arguably the most important and famous man of my generation and current President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama came to be because his father Barack Obama Sr came to the United States courtesy of the generosity of others before him; namely the late Tom Mboya.

Memo to Mr. Miguna Miguna:

Maybe it is a function of the different cultures – America and Kenya – we have lived in but I can categorically say that there is nothing wrong driving a taxi or working as a mortuary attendant. Millions in my adopted home America have built solid lives and careers driving taxis and working in mortuaries. Similarly, maybe Mr. Miguna is a self-made man and did not need relatives (and friends) to help him along his illustrious life and career. However, some of us needed the kindness of wealthy and generous relatives AND friends to get over the hump. I know I did!

On working as a taxi driver, I wonder whether the Canadian-trained barrister knows that a taxi license (or medallion) in New York is actually a major investment whose value appreciates over time thus earning the owner equity much like a stock or house. As an example, on October 2011, a medallion auction prices topped $1million or kshs. 82million a piece! Taxi drivers, mostly from Africa and Asia have put their children through Ivy League schools using the appreciated value of their taxi medallion.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_taxi#Medallions

Regarding working as a mortuary attendant, the Atlantic Magazine writes that “dying in America is expensive” in its analysis of the funeral/mortuary industry; one that is worth $15billion annually; just under half of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 ($37.5billion). In other words, the INDUSTRY whose workers Mr. Miguna is denigrating is ~40% the size of the entire value of goods and services produced in Kenya in 2012!



The foregoing summation of the taxi and mortuary industries is to counter what I believe is Miguna Miguna’s disparagement of the fact that an apparent political rival Jakoyo Midiwo not only worked as a taxi driver and a mortuary attendant while in the US, but is where he is because of his relationship to the Odinga family.

There are people who work as taxi drivers and mortuary attendants while studying for their ultimate career. There are doctors, scientists and computer programmers who moonlight as cab drivers and 7/11 clerks all across America even as they keep their focus on what their long term goal is – including becoming a lawyer. There are also others who use said (menial) jobs as a stepping stone towards owning their own taxi or funeral home.

Mr. David Karangu, owner of one of the largest black-owned car dealership in Atlanta, GA started off working as a car salesman while attending Morgan State University. For the record, car salespeople occupy the least-trusted and least-respected positions in the US economy http://943thepoint.com/what-are-the-most-trusted-and-least-trusted-professions/. For “deigning” to work in the least-trusted least-respected job in America, Mr. Karangu was recognized by the Black Enterprise Magazine’s Top 100 black-owned business and by Cable News Network (CNN) as one of the most prominent black business owners in the US car market. How dare he make an honest living in such a “dishonest and disrespected position” AND rise to such heights?


Back to Mr. Miguna2’s rant against Mr. Midiwo:

It speaks of one’s insecurity if they have to speak ill of others or talk about what they own or where they live; presumably to show that they “have more or are ‘better’ ”. This is simple psychology but before I receive questions regarding my qualifications from the acid-tongued lawyer, let me state categorically that I am NOT a trained psychologist. I just took a 3 introductory classes as a sophomore in college. This would not be the first time I have read about Kenyans denigrating other Kenyans because of what they do or how their lives have progressed/are progressing. It is not unusual to read comments/blogs by Kenyans telling fellow Kenyans in the diaspora to “go back and wipe the asses of the elderly” or to “come back home instead of flipping burgers at McDonald” as a counter to any criticism of the way things are back home.

In Wuodha, I write about thinking that “I (had) finally made it” as a valet was bringing me what I thought was the car of dreams; the very thing that gave me the inflated sense of self! Fortunately (of unfortunately), this bloated sense of self-importance was completely deflated when I saw the cars belonging to the other patrons of the restaurant my son and I had just patronized; cars that made my car look like a mkokoteni! I also write about making small talk with nondescript-looking customers at a favorite coffee shop in downtown Palo Alto; customers who unbeknownst to me at the time, had options worth millions of dollars from the hottest social media company in the valley! Finally, I point out that the beauty of Silicon Valley is that one can never tell how much money someone has because they rarely talk about it or flash it around.

An interesting corollary: Leading up to the initial public offering (IPO) of Facebook shares, an event that promised millions to the company’s twenty-something programmers and software engineers, rumor has it that the CEO Mark Zuckerberg let it be known that he would find it “uncool” if one of his underlings were to pull up in a Lamborghini shortly after the public offering! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/technology/a-start-up-is-gold-for-facebooks-new-millionaires.html?pagewanted=all. I am not sure whether the newly-minted millionaires heeded their boss’s advice but I know that the cars I see in company’s parking lot do not speak to the wealth generated by the IPO.

Mr. Miguna on the other hand feels the need to point out that he lives in Runda where “failures” do not live! http://www.jamiiforums.com/kenyan-politics/562074-miguna-miguna-why-i-hit-raila-below-the-belt.html

During my life in these United States, I have tried to take pride in whatever job I have been fortunate to have: I have worked as a machine operator opening and closing the door of an injection/molding press, five sometimes six days a week, eight (8) hours a day from 11:30PM to 7AM. I have also cleaned up after customers at a Jack-In-The-Box – a fast food restaurant similar to McDonald’s, including washing dirty and soiled toilets. I have worked the famous Holiday Pie Crush at Bakers Square and Pie Shop. All this I did to support myself and pay my way through college even as I remitted millions of shillings, yes millions of shillings back to the very people on whose shoulders I stood on my way to America. Isn’t it ironic that the very taxi drivers and mortuary attendants Mr. Miguna is disparaging contribute as much foreign exchange to Kenya’s economy as do tea, horticulture and tourism?


Mr. Miguna, there is nothing to be ashamed of doing “menial” work to earn an honest living. That you ridicule people who “drive taxis” or “work as a mortuary attendant” says more about you than it does about them.

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