A RESPONSE TO NAKED LIES IN JALUO .COM
By MIGUNA MIGUNA
I have read with interest the false statements published in Jaluo.com by one "Arum Tidi" purportedly from Nyando, and repeated by others in different Internet-based fora.
I am certain that "Arum Tidi" is being used here cowardly by a person we all know very well in a desperate attempt to hide from liability. The good news is that I know the real person trying to hide behind the nom de glum: "Arum Tidi."
I am not in the habit of responding to naked lies, concoctions, contusions, defamation and libel in this way. As a lawyer who actively litigates civil matters, and has done so for more than twelve years, I know how to hit back at defamers in a meaningful way, and I promise to do that against this coward very soon.
However, there are certain aspects of the publication that must be confronted head-on because to ignore it might mislead those who are unaware of the FACTS to confuse these concoctions as being either complete or half truth.
First, my true legal names are: Miguna Miguna. "Joshua" is not my name. I legally excised "Joshua" in 1997, not because I belonged to an anti-Christ movement as falsely alleged; but due to the fact that I eventually reconciled myself with my authentic African heritage. There was no "Joshua" anywhere in my lineage and I could not understand why I had to continue with that irrelevant appendage. It was a matter of choice.
Second, I was elected a student leader at the University of Nairobi in 1987 as a representative of the Faculty of Arts in the Students' Organization of Nairobi University (SONU). Once in the Students' Representative Council (SRC), the latter elected me to the position of Finance Secretary. At the same time, I served as the Vice-Chair of Kisumu University Students' Association (KIDUSA) from 1986 to 1987. In addition, the SRC elected me the Managing Editor of the University of Nairobi student newspaper, the Campus Mirror.
At dawn on November 14, 1987, I, together with Wafula Buke (SOMU chair); Munameza Muleji (Foreign Secretary); Oyuo Ngala Amuomo (Education Secretary); Kaberere Njenga (Secretary General); and Munoru Nderi (Vice-Chair), were kidnapped by the Kanu/Moi security forces, detained incommunicado and tortured for one month before being expelled from the University. Buke was subsequently jailed for five years with tramped up charges.
University of Nairobi students rose up in protest over our arrests and illegal detentions immediately following our abductions. In response, the government closed down the University indefinitely; banned SONU and accused the detained student leaders of a number of false things, including an alleged plot to overthrow it with the assistance of Uganda, Libya, the Apartheid South Africa and some Christian Fundamentalist groups purportedly based in the United States of America. We were also roundly accused of trying to spread communism among students at the University. Demonstrations were held all over the country against us.
And of course, none of the allegations was true!
In December 1987, I, together with Munoru Nderi, James Anampiu, Peter Gakiri (Catering Secretary); and J.T. Ogola fled Kenya to Tanzania. We stayed in Tanzania for two months during which time we were joined by Omill Oloo (SONU representative in Kabete Campus) before being airlifted by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner for Refugees to the Kingdom of Swaziland. The UNHCR kept us in Swaziland for six months before the Canadian government brought us to Canada as government sponsored conventional refugees.
I registered at the University of Toronto in September 1988 and graduated in record speed in June 1990 with a B.A. with distinction. I immediately applied for, did my Law School Admission Exams and was admitted to Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in September 1990. I graduated from Osgoode Law School with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in June 1993, articled and did my Bar, and was called to the Ontario Bar in February 1995.
Third, I set up my law practice in Toronto in 1995. I have been providing legal services in Criminal, Constitutional, Civil, Immigration/Refugee Law and Family Law ever since.
In 2001, I graduated with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Fourth, in addition to practicing law, I am also a certified mediator and Alternative Dispute Resolution consultant. My practice continues as usual. Fifth, I am somewhat humbled to learn that "Arum Tidi," though supposed to be in Nyando (where his poorly written unauthorized biography was concocted), has spared time to update people all over the world of where and how I practice law. I encourage him to market my services aggressively because as a self-employed lawyer, I am always looking out for new work.
Sixth, I have published four books. They are: Songs of Fire (Poetry, 1994); Africa's Volcanic Song (Poetry, 1995); Disgraceful Osgoode and Other Essays (Non Fiction, 1994); and Toes Have Tales (Fiction, 1995). Many of you have also come across my commentaries and opinions in both Kenyan papers and various fora. As well, I have authored many journal articles and poems. These have been published all over the world.
Seventh, contrary to myths and the unpopular beliefs, I was a founder and first chair of a Kenyan organization in Canada called Committee for Democracy if Kenya (CDK). We founded this organization at the height of the Kanu/Moi repression with Willy Mutunga, Peter Omondi Obanda, Onyango Oloo, Adongo Ogony, Perez Oyugi, Karanga Njoroge and others. CDK vigorously advocated for democracy, good governance, an end of political repression and economic crimes in Kenya at a time when even imagining to be a Kanu/Moi opponent was supposed to be criminal and many people now shouting about freedom and democracy were literally either hiding or condemning us.
I forgive them for they know not what they are doing.
Eighth, over more than a decade, I have assisted thousands of Africans (primarily Kenyans) fleeing from political and economic brutality. I have also assisted Kenyan business people and leaders navigate the intricacies of international business and politics in the process. As well, legend has it that my nimble tongue and potent brain have conspired to produce a legion of successes, many of which like with all success, is rarely spoken about, mentioned or discussed. That is the nature of life and I have humbly accepted its verdict. History, however, will record my contributions more accurately, and hopefully, favourably.
Ninth, my home is Kenya, Africa, although what I regard as my "constituency" in Kenyan parlance is Nyando. I do not subscribe to clan, village, tribal or sectarian politics. I strongly eschew tribalism and racism, among other xenophobia.
Although the cowardly unauthorized false biography by "Arum Tidi" claimed that Wawidhi is a small sub-clan; it isn't. Wawidhi is a geographic located populated by a number of large and prominent clans such as Kimira, Kanyilum, Kakmie, Tura, Kochogo, Wan'gaya, Katolo and others. According to the voting figures of 2002, Wawidhi alone contributed 13,865 voters in a constituency that had less than twice that number.
And tenth, I have no comment with respect to the number of cattle Wawidhi people once had, except to say that historically, there was a time that Luo people judged how wealthy, influential and respected a person (invariably a man) had by the number of cattle he had. That might have changed over the years. But I am not one who is ashamed of our people's poverty, ignorance or backwardness. These offer challenges for creative, thoughtful and development conscious people and leaders to confront. I have played my part over the years and hope to continue doing so in the future.
As for the false allegation that I was "a double agent" at the University of Nairobi; I do not know what these terms mean when applied on me because I have never ever compromised my principles at the alter of cheap, selfish and fleeting interests. Anybody claiming otherwise needs to adduce concrete, reliable and credible evidence of any such allegations; not defamatory statements and trashy gossip couched up as "news." I consider these allegations comical in many respects.
Fortunately for me, my academic, professional, literary and political records speak for themselves.
Finally, I wish to categorically state that I have never been denied access to Honourable Raila Odinga be it in Kenya or abroad. In fact, I cannot be denied access because I have direct access to Hon. Odinga. There was no way any so-called "security detail" could have prevented me from seeing Hon. Odinga, for indeed I met more than five separate times and held private discussions with him.
I am deeply involved in Hon. Raila Odinga's presidential campaign and no amount of false propaganda will change that.
The claim that I was "sighted" near Foreign minister Raphael Tuju's office or that I have links to the Kenyan Ambassador to the U.S. Raten'g Oginga Ogego, do not deserve a response. I treat them with the contempt that they deserve.
I do not engage in pettiness or petty fights. The individuals and so-called organizations that feel legitimate grievances against me should either address their concerns to me in a coherent and logical manner or deal with the same in a civilized and mature manner. Cowardly defamatory publications bearing fake names shall never deter me. You can take that to the bank!
Nyando people, like all human beings, have brains of their own. When the time comes, they will elect a Member of Parliament that they want. No one can hope to dictate who will or will not be a leader in Kenya.
As for anyone who intends to defame me, I wish to reiterate that my response, as usual, shall stroke like lightning.
Thank you for reading this response. I encourage everyone to engage in productive exercises and not these useless shadow boxing. If the foregoing is what is called arrogance, so be it!
Barrister, Solicitor & ADR Consultant
Toronto, Ont. Canada
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