With the embers of the party nominations cooling off, there is enough signal to show that the list of independent candidates has gone up. Disgruntled losers in the party nominations have opted to have a second stab through the independent candidate option. Chapter Seven of the Kenyan Constitution (2010) on Representation of the People on the gives the eligibility to run as an independent candidate. Of principle requirement is that the candidate should not have been a member of a registered political party for at least three months immediately before the date of the election. However, due to the usual Kenyan way of doing things, political leaders have found a way of circumventing this and have been passed by the Registrar of Political Parties to run as independent candidates. But one person who had put himself forward as an independent candidate before hand was Miguna Miguna who wants to be the next Nairobi governor. Miguna Miguna is a firebrand individual who has not shied away from ruffling friends and foes feathers. An eloquent and persuasive speaker, Miguna Miguna has come a long way and his decision to run for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat has sparked debate.
Miguna Miguna came into the national limelight when he worked senior adviser and chief strategist for the Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader. He received more media attention when he broke ranks with Raila Odinga. The reverberation of their indifferences culminated in 2012 when he released the volume Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya, a book that was partly about his humble beginnings but mostly an expose´of Raila Odinga and his henchmen during the troubled coalition government. The book catapulted Miguna Miguna to greater heights as this made him a darling of the media. He received numerous invitations in local television stations where he tore into the life of Raila Odinga. Juggling between Canada and Kenya, Miguna Miguna became an assessor of the political and economic situation of the country whenever he jetted back home. As barrister and solicitor in Canada and advocate in Kenya, Miguna Miguna through his weekly columns in the Star newspaper threw tirade after tirade to Raila Odinga. He even pledged his support to Uhuru Kenyatta prior to the 2013 General Elections – all with the aim of discrediting Raila Odinga. He did this with fervor and indignity. He had a score to settle with Raila Odinga although he didn’t mention it explicitly both in the media interviews nor in his books.
He was an intermittent guest in the Jeff Koinange Live (JKL) show on KTN. On every occasion, Miguna spoke with unreserved candor of the state of affairs in Kenya. Despite his usual antipathetic valor to Raila Odinga, he made very sound contributions to the state of corruption in Kenya, the disregard of constitutionalism and the rule of law among other national issues. True to Miguna Miguna’s suaveness, he tore into the administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta and the running of the new county governments. This time round he picked up the fight with Nairobi governor Dr. Evans Kidero. He lashed out at Dr. Kidero, accusing him of running down Mumias sugar among other administrative misdemeanour. It is from this fight Miguna began to take up the interest to run for political office. Having toyed with the idea for a while Miguna finally announced that he was interested in Kidero’s position.
Miguna compared to Trump
It is evident from his eloquence and mastery of things that Miguna Miguna is a smart fellow. He is outspoken, candid and fears no one. His bravado and grandiosity has appealed him to many. Ever since Miguna declared interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial position, he has worked tirelessly to sell his agenda for the city. From mid-2016 at a time when Donald Trump was also positioning himself for US presidency, Miguna has or tried to juxtapose himself to Trump. He has used the catchy phrase drain the swamp also used by Trump to marshall support. During one show with Jeff Koinange, Miguna Miguna openly uttered misogynistic words to Esther Passaris, who at the time had an interest for the Nairobi governor seat. Although he Miguna said he stood by his words, his intention was not to demean women, an action that was compared to President Trump’s misogynistic philosophy. Miguna, just like Trump has attacked everyone who disagrees with him. Unlike Trump however, Miguna is a son of a peasant mother.
Vision for Nairobi
Miguna has, unlike all the Nairobi gubernatorial aspirants a clear vision for the city. Nairobi is in a state of dilapidation. The city is dirty, disorganized and in a state of confusion. Nairobi is a shell of its former self. Nairobi was the city to be in Africa compared to London for its onetime tranquility. Now the city is a matatu heaven, filled with noise and polluted. The CBD is thronged with matatus, bodaboda and hawkers who do everything with sheer impunity. The traffic jam is a nuisance to every visitor. Dirt and garbage color the streets of Nairobi. You walk one step, there is a hawker selling second hand brassieres and men’s boxers, someone with a bell and whistle urging you to enter into a restaurant, a preacher preaching, and a bunch of young men urging passengers into a loud matatu “Ronga soo, Ronga soo, wawili dinga iende!” That Rongai matatu is labeled kifaru – with army pigments and customized LCD screens and with a mixtape of demakufu. Just chaotic! The driver of the matatu presses the accelerator which has a screeching sound!
Miguna Miguna has a wonderful website emblematic of Western campaigns with a clear plan to transform the city. He is so far the only candidate in the race to have a manifesto – both in English and Kiswahili. It is evident in the manifesto that the man did his research and understands what ails Nairobi. Miguna says he wants to fight the cartels who have destroyed the city. Miguna has positioned himself as a candidate with integrity and one who wants to drain the swamp at City Hall. Leadership is chiefly about integrity and service. Without these two attributes, no one can lead successfully. Miguna offers a worthy alternative to the present political class.
2 May 2016