Opinion

Someone tell Raila 'small people' count

Someone tell Raila 'small people' count
  • Mr Miguna’s continued exile in Canada against a court order protecting his right to Kenyan citizenship raises serious concerns about the State’s respect for the rule of law.
  • Long before scores of politicians got the nerves to come out and address international press conferences at Chester House, some small but brave Kenyans had been mobilising and organising for years.

It is common knowledge that there is no love lost between ODM party leader Raila Odinga and exiled NRM ‘general’ Miguna Miguna.

Following the latest round of his falling-out with his former boss, Mr Miguna has made some very nasty remarks about Mr Odinga on social media.

Mr Miguna has also in the past authored two tell-all books in which Mr Odinga doesn’t come off as enigmatic as some of us believe he is.

So you can safely bet that the ODM party leader won’t be heading to JKIA for Mr Miguna’s homecoming if and when the latter is allowed back into the country.

Unfortunately, Mr Odinga’s personal emotions towards his former aide seem to be clouding his judgment on the controversial red alert issued against Mr Miguna travelling back to the country.

Confronted by a section of the crowd at a public rally in Kisii on Friday, Mr Odinga reportedly dismissed Mr Miguna as a ‘small person’ whose troubles were not worth his attention.

DEMOCRATIC REFORMS

Granted, the man the ODM party boss once fondly referred to as Janyando doesn’t boast the same political clout as he does.

But Mr Miguna’s continued exile in Canada against a court order protecting his right to Kenyan citizenship raises serious concerns about the State’s respect for the rule of law.

And what irony that Mr Odinga made his ‘small person’ remarks at an event where he was promoting the Building Bridges Initiative, which, among others, seeks democratic reforms!

Perhaps Mr Odinga needs to jog his memory about his own role in Kenya’s second liberation struggle to understand what is at stake in the Miguna saga.

Before he inherited the ethnic political base following the death of his dad in 1994, Mr Odinga was widely seen as a small person with a big family name.

DICTATORSHIP

Even as Kenya’s longest political detainee or an exile in Norway, he appeared to get public sympathy mostly because he was seen as a small victim of his dad’s troubles with the State.

The success of the reform movement against the Moi dictatorship is often wrongly attributed to the opportunistic role of a handful disgruntled elements among the political elite who occasionally fell out with the ruling party.

This narrative grossly understates the role of the small victim, whose suffering at the hands of the State security apparatus inflamed public opinion and sparked the groundswell of rebellion against the dictatorship.

Long before scores of politicians got the nerves to come out and address international press conferences at Chester House, some small but brave Kenyans had been mobilising and organising for years.

The better known in their ranks were former university students and lecturers.

Some of them, like Titus Adungosi and Karimi Nduthu, paid the ultimate price.

So someone remind Raila: ‘small persons’ matter in the struggle for the rule of law.

@otienootieno