A Cabinet minister on Sunday called for the arrest of lawyer Mr Miguna Miguna, Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s former adviser, for allegedly withholding evidence to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
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Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’ said Mr Miguna, whose new explosive memoirs accuse PM Raila Odinga of corruption and incompetence, should be held to account over claims that he had incriminating evidence against top politicians in connection the post-election violence that killed 1,133 people and displaced 650,000 others.
“Withholding evidence of the nature he claimed to be having amounts to concealing a crime and he should be arrested for doing so,” Mr Kajwang’ said in Kisumu.
Speaking at the launch of his book, Peeling Back the Mask, on Saturday, Mr Miguna said he was privy to the ODM campaign strategies and was present when the party declared that the 2007 General Election was a contest of 41 tribes against one.
“I can take every leader to The Hague, they should actually kiss my feet… They actually begged me to go back to office when they knew that I could spill the beans,” he said in Nairobi.
This came as pressure mounted, including resignation calls, on Mr Odinga and others mentioned adversely in the book to clear their names.
Mr Kajwang’ said the Prime Minister will not respond to the book as it “contained 500 pages of rumours and hearsay”.
“The PM’s focus is on how to sell his policies to the Kenyan electorate and win the presidency, but not a disgruntled lone-ranger who thinks that he can change public perception towards our party leader,” said the Mbita MP.
He accused Mr Miguna of malice and being used by the PM’s rivals to scuttle his presidential bid.
“It is an art of political blackmail that is guided by greed to make big money,” he said.
On Sunday, Mr Miguna said that Mr Kajwang’ “has no credibility” and that he is not his professional equal and would therefore not dignify his arrest calls with a response.
“Yeye ni mtu wa mkono (He is just a hatchet man),” he said.
Law Society of Kenya chairman, Mr Eric Mutua, challenged Mr Odinga and his aides to clear their names.
“For the sake of transparency and accountability, public officials named in the book owe Kenyans an explanation, whether the allegations made in the book are true or not.
They should react to them. Keeping quiet will leave the public confused and will only fortify the notion that the allegations may be true,” he said by telephone last evening.
Anti-corruption activist Mwalimu Mati challenged more public officials to write their memoirs.
In Chepalungu, MP Isaac Rutto said the book had exposed Mr Odinga’s deals, and was an accurate account of events leading to the post-election violence.
Mr Rutto confirmed that Mr Miguna wrestled him to the ground at the tallying centre at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre as alleged in the book.
A lobby, Kenyans 4 Honest Governance, said Mr Odinga should step aside to pave the way for investigations into the allegations. The group’s coordinator, Mr Isaac Ngugi, said the claims were too “serious” to be wished away.
“The claims contained in this book, if true, reflect negatively on the personal leadership and integrity of Mr Odinga in line with Chapter Six of the Constitution,” he said.
The book accused Mr Odinga of overseeing a swamp of corruption in his office, with top aides engaged in illicit deals.
“This is a serious book. I consider it to be like the Watergate scandal that forced President Nixon of the USA to resign. Nobody in this country is indispensable,” said another official, Mr James Mwangi, in Nairobi on Sunday.
But ODM Nyamira branch chairman Timothy Bosire accused Mr Miguna of betraying Mr Odinga’s trust.
In western Kenya, the book was received with mixed reactions. Mr David Otieno, 35, said the author had betrayed the PM and the community.
Prof Egara Kabaji of Masinde Muliro University in Kakamega questioned Mr Miguna’s motive and sincerity in publishing the book.