Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pro-ODM Goons Physically Attack Miguna in Mombasa

A LIVE REPORT BY Onyango Oloo in Mombasa


It is 12:55 pm on Saturday, August 25th, 2012.

I am sitting in the Kilindini room, located on the fourth floor of the  Castle Royal Hotel where a couple of hours ago the 120 capacity space was three quarters full of members of the public who came for the Mombasa launch of Miguna's Peeling Back the Mask.

At the front was myself, acting as MC, Mvita MP, Najib Balala and Miguna Miguna.

I kicked off the meeting with the usual overview, clarifying once more for the benefit of the media that I was NOT and has never been my namesake who is Secretary General of TNA.  I went into a historical overview of the Kenyan struggle for democracy and justice and lauded the promulgation of the constitution as an important breakthrough for the country's development. Before inviting Miguna to speak, I  reminded the audience of the Bill of Rights and the need for all Kenyans to practice tolerance and peaceful coexistence. I then told them how the programme with  unfold with Najib Balala following me to greet the crowd and then Miguna would take the podium to make his address following which the floor would be opened for a question and answer session.

That is exactly what happened. Miguna echoed my message of the need for peaceful dialogue and debate, going as far as underscoring that the Prime Minister himself has gone on record to defend these freedoms have served eight years in detention without trial. He then took the audience through an overview of his book which he said was "99.9%" about his life, emphasizing that Peeling Back the Mask was NOT written with the express intention of castigating any particular individual. He implored the participants to take time to actually read the book before rushing to conclusions. He cited the issues raised in the book including unemployment, corruption and other socio-economic ills and political malfeasance.

He then sat down after thanking the audience for listening to him to the end.

I  then stood up, announcing it was now time for the  Q& A, saying that  one was free to ask a question, make a general comment or simply make any kind of intervention.

Several hands quickly shot up. I chose six. I told them to each remember their "number" to keep an orderly sequence and implored the rest not to interrupt each other when one  was asking a question or making a comment.

The first heckler, a twentysomething woman who I later learned was called Eva and had spent one a half years behind bars on a drug offence, wearing a white Gor Mahia top made her first appearance heckling at nobody in particular, I reassured her that she would be among the first in the second round of questions. She piped down, seemingly mollified by my calm reassurance. Several voices in the audience also loudly asked her to be patient.

All six asked their questions. A certain percentage of the questions were directed at Najib Balala who was  criticized for  going silent; castigated for using the Wapwani vs. Wabara ethnic card and for abandoning ODM and Raila Odinga. Most of the questions directed at Miguna revolved around the timing of his books which some participants found fishy; why he waited until he was sacked to go public; why he deliberately mislead the Prime Minister to make questionable decisions yet he was Raila's trusted adviser; what was his agenda on the book tour-was it commercial or with a national interest; what was the justification for according top level state security; where was he when Kenyans were fighting and dying to liberate the country and other questions along the same general lines.

Miguna took the microphone to answer this battery of questions. As soon as he did that, a big burly dark skinned guy of middle height in a green Gor Mahia T shirt starting shouting, but more importantly moving forward towards on the dais. Within a matter of minutes they had surrounded us, caving us in, upsetting the media's microphones before  flinging the table we were sitting behind to its side as they edged ever closer to Miguna. The guy in the green Gor Mahia T shirt  who I made told is from the  Makande area and was visibly drunk egged the others on. Even I was hassled, but I was determined to secure my lap top. I noticed that the person from Prestige handling book sales was nowhere to be seen leaving two  unopened cartons of Peeling Back the Mask. I quickly corralled the Castle Royal Hotel staff who carted away the cartons.

Meanwhile a group of local human rights activists formed a protective cordon around Miguna as his security detail led him downstairs. One of them, Magak advised me NOT to follow Miguna downstairs. Instead he led me to a small cavern at the back of the fourth floor where I found a plain clothes officer from Mombasa's Central Police station who later identified himself to me as  a Mr. Obade.

We later on found out that the same Mr. Green Mahia T-shirt guy went and grabbed Miguna's Muslim cap, while another  hooligan managed to run off with one looted  shoe- I am not sure how they managed to rip it off Miguna's foot. Unfortunately, Miguna wears size 13 and it is practically useless when it is not accompanied with the other from the other foot. The OCS has just informed me that in an altercation, Miguna's right hook connected with Mr. Green Mahia's  chin knocking that drunken  soccer/political hooligan senseless.

Through the magic of   mobile telephony (voice calls, SMS) other ODM supporting hooligans and vandals quickly descended in downtown Mombasa's Moi Avenue address of the Castle Royal Hotel in matatu loads from Makupa, Makande, Tudor, Kisauni, Changamwe, Bangladesh to heckle, loot and physically attack us.

But by then hordes of cops in police uniform and civvies were on the scene.

Miguna was taken out of the hotel by members of the crack Flying Squad.

I understand Mr. Green Gor Mahia T-shirt was commenting to the undercover cops that he seemed to know by name:

"Nyinyi maafisa fanyeni kazi yenu. Mimi pia nafanya kazi yangu."

(TRANSLATION: "You officers do your job. I am also doing mine.")

Ok. I have to stop here. The cops are here to drive me out of the venue.

But I have a MAJOR worry.

And it is not for Miguna Miguna.

Rather it is for the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga:

If this trend of hooliganism continues, some of the PM's enemies are going to hire  trained goons to make a direct attempt to assassinate  the author of Peeling Back the Mask and lay the blame squarely on these mindless heckling vandalizing hooligans.

Is the leadership of ODM remotely concerned about this distinct possibility?

Onyango Oloo
Mombasa, Saturday, August 25, 2012

PS: My thoughts are with the family, friends, comrades, supporters of the late Father John Kaiser as we commemorate the 12 anniversary of his assassination.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hands on account. I am sure the news clips of this incident will not be as detailed as your narrative.

Poleni for the suffering you have had to endure at the hands of these mindless thugs. Instead of demonstrating about the watering down of the bill they are busy accosting Miguna.

Anonymous said...

Political thugery must be met with the same.
Assassinate people's character at your own peril.
Thank you for outline the agenda of this tours - it seem you are part of the plot to kill the 'buffoon-in-chief'

Anonymous said...

Evidence that the goons were ODM members was the Gor t-shirts. That sounds shallow to me. Otherwise, thank you for the detailed post.

Anonymous said...

Onyango Oloo, are you Miguna's advisor? Then you have not done a good job, just as Miguna never did when he was at the PM's office.

With all the storm Miguna's book has raised and the abrasive and tactless manner he has carried himself, you and co should have seen this kind of reaction coming. You want people to respect your rights while you do not think you have an obligation to respect the rights of others. How can you claim Miguna did not write the book to bring down an individual -in this case Rail- while he has announced and continues to that clearly that is his intention? Where did Balala slip to and why did he host you people? I am sure more of such rough treatment will come your way as you go round the counties. Good luck in your attempt to please your paymasters.

Anonymous said...

Why is odm crew bullying everyone who is questions Raila. Recently, someone posted a note I will not vote for Raila, within 3 hours she had 3000 views of individuals abusing and calling her all sorts of names infringing on her freedom of speech. If you don't want him to be asked questions in regard to his actions or behavior as a pm ( who is by the way my employee ) then please pull him out of the presidential race.

To ODM campaign team please stop bullying people in the cyberspace by creating hundreds of Facebook accounts with different nationalities names and use them to harass people.

Anonymous said...

You mention ODM several times. Just wondering...how does ODM supporters look like?...why not just place the book on the bookshops and ask people to buy.All these tours are not necessary.

Anonymous said...

Much as what happened to double M is wrong, Miguna is to blame too because the kind of language he has been using is too unkind. Former corruption czar John Githongo was forced into exile after he wrote a book that was touchy about Kibaki's inner circle. How come when Miguna writes a book about Raila he's left to traverse the country freely moreover granted state security? Is someone behind Miguna that we don't know yet? Nicholas, Busia..

Anonymous said...

Many thanks,Oloo. First, I wish to congratulate Miguna Miguna for the bravity he has and wish to urge him on in expressing himself because what he is doing is within his rights as guaranteed in our new constitution.

My worry is this. If some people have the audecity to assult critics of Raila in broad day light at this point in time when he is not the President of Kenya, could happen in the event that he was elected into Statehouse?

The Kisumu and Mombasa incidents, the isues raise by Miguna and the take over of peoples' investments in some sections of Nairobi, are not very assuring to me on matters constitutional. This has made me to revisit my 2013 vote, and I am starting to get convinced of whom I may not vote.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your attempt to give such an account, but it is hard to tell how your (Oloo's) interests have influenced it. I personally don't support these acts, but again, it is fallacious to be purely sure that Raila's supporters are the ones, why not think that it done by so called rivals (you included) to implicate Raila and ODM?. Importantly, I am concerned with your final observation that if allowed to continue some PM's enemies (read rivals as well) ARE going to hire trained goons and make DIRECT attempt to assassinate Miguna. This is worrisome because 1. you and the group you are working for qualifies as PM's rival, 2. Note the words used in Caps, its you are sure that assassination is going to be meted and 3.

If this trend of hooliganism continues, some of the PM's enemies are going to hire trained goons to make a direct attempt to assassinate the author of Peeling Back the Mask and lay the blame squarely on these mindless heckling vandalizing hooligans.

Bernard said...

Oloo, It would be erroneous to precisely conclude that the attackers of Miguna are Pro-ODM and Raila Supporters. What concrete evidence has you to support the claim? Gor Mahia T-shirts, False cause Fallacy! My concern is on Miguna, he must know that life is the supreme gift from God to be protected by all means, stop being careless with your life in the name of seeking material and political relevance. After all your enemies might pose as friend to your destruction for personal interests. Wake up Miguna and protect the gift that is never gotten twice. Even Jesus escaped in the middle of the crown at the verge of being thrown by enemies down the cliff.

Kenya Democracy Project said...

How did I know they were ODM supporters? Simple. I was the MC. They opened their mouths and STATED that they were ODM and Raila supporters. Some of them addressed me in my mother tongue,Dholuo telling me as much. It appears as if some of you would have LOVED to be part of the political hooliganism, because you are JUSTIFYING these acts of thuggery.