By our reporter
Miguna Miguna, a staunch ally of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was deported to Canada on February 6 after playing a key role in a mock swearing-in staged by Odinga in January 2018.
On Monday, he was denied entry into the Kenya despite a court order setting aside his deportation and asking the government to allow him back.
Miguna was born in Magina village, Kisumu District in 1963.
He is also a barrister and solicitor in Canada, and an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.
Whilst serving as a student leader at the University of Nairobi, he was detained by the Moiregime for his political activism. Upon his release, he fled to neighboring Tanzania on foot and briefly stayed in Swaziland. He was granted political asylum in Canada where he continued to pursue his higher education.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1990 and thereafter read law at Osgoode Hall Law School. He was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1995 and the Kenyan Bar in 2008.
He articled at Charles Roach’s firm in Toronto before practising on his own until 2007 when he returned to his homeland.
Upon his return, he contested in the primaries of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)’s nomination for Nyando Constituency but lost to Frederick Outa Otieno. He was part of the ODM’s campaign team during the 2007 general election.
In March 2009, he was appointed as Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s senior adviser on coalition affairs and concurrently served alongside Kivutha Kibwana as the Joint-secretary to the Permanent Committee on the Management of the Grand Coalition. In August 2011, he was accused of gross misconduct and was thereby suspended without pay. The suspension was lifted on 29 December but Miguna declined his reinstatement.
On 14 July 2012, he launched his first memoir titled Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya.The book was virulently critical of Raila Odinga and purported to his expose him as a charlatan. It sparked protests from Odinga’s supporters in Ahero who burned Miguna’s effigy and mock coffin; and thereafter sprinkling its ashes into River Nyando. He was attacked whilst promoting his book at a hotel in Mombasa and had to be rescued by the police.
In September 2012, he resigned from ODM as a life member and announced his candidacy for Governor of Nairobi County in the 2013 gubernatorial election as an independent candidate. He later on cancelled his candidacy.
He launched his second memoir in February 2013 titled Kidneys for the King: Deforming the Status Quo in Kenya. which heaps even more scorn on Raila, cataloging a series of misdeeds allegedly committed by Raila. Raila on his part has declined to answer to the claims made in Miguna’s books or even to sue for defamation in the belief that this would deny the limelight Miguna is seeking.
Raila is widely viewed in Kenya as a leading proponent of political reforms, an image which could be badly sullied if Miguna’s claims as made in his books prove to be true. In an act of rejection of his former political boss, Miguna endorsed Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila’s rival, in the 2013 presidential election Uhuru went on to win the poll albeit amid claims of poll fraud by Raila.
In March 2016, Miguna declared that he would be vying for the position of Governor for Nairobi as an independent candidate. He unveiled his revolutionary manifesto in August 2016. The manifesto promised visionary leadership based on integrity, clear policies, programs and a commitment for service delivery, job creation and infrastructure development things which many Kenyans saw that he could not deliver. Consequently, came in fourth in the 2017 Nairobi gubernatorial elections held on August 8, 2017.
In a dramatic reversal of stance, Miguna became one of Raila’s most outspoken advocates after the 2017 presidential election; he also emerged to become one of the sternest critics of Uhuru’s administration accusing it of despotism and rigging itself into power at the expense of Raila Odinga.
Styling himself as “General” of the NRM (National Resistance Movement – the successor entity of Nasa) his showdown with the Uhuru regime finally led to his arrest, arraignment in court and a hurried deportation to Canada ostensibly because he had renounced his Kenyan citizenship.
In 2010, some members from the Party of National Unity side of the coalition accused him of holding both Canadian and Kenyan passports as the law didn’t permit dual citizenship at the time. Miguna responded that he was a Kenyan citizen by birth and that he had never renounced his citizenship.
In February 2018, Miguna was deported from Kenya to Canada following his role in the swearing in of Raila Odinga as the “People’s President of Kenya”.
The Government’s position was that he was not a Kenyan citizen, given that Miguna had acquired Canadian citizenship following his exile. Since there was no provision for dual citizenship in the Constitution of Kenya at the time, it was assumed that he had rescinded his Kenyan citizenship.