The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Miguna Flies Out As Police Seek Interview

AUTHOR Miguna Miguna left Kenya on Monday night just before police tried to interview him yesterday morning. "I am out of the country to market my book," Miguna said in an email yesterday. His controversial new book Peeling Back The Mask was launched on Saturday. Miguna alleged that he had evidence that Prime Minister Raila Odinga was involved in post-election violence and that there corruption in his office.

On Monday Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered police to interview Miguna to collect his evidence on PEV. When they went to his house in Runda yesterday morning, they found it empty. Yesterday police in Nyando moved to block angry villagers from burying Miguna's effigy in his rural home. Miguna reportedly left for Canada through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) along with his wife and four children around 11pm on Monday night.

Miguna lived in Canada after he went into exile in 1989. A police officer at JKIA who saw Miguna and his family said that they were carrying a lot of luggage. Deputy Police spokesman Charles Owino Wahong'o yesterday said that Miguna was still free to volunteer whatever information he had. "Miguna knows where to give the information. The jurisdiction of investigating post election violence still lies with the country's criminal justice system in which police and the DPP's office fall. As much as the ICC is prosecuting some cases, there are others that we are investigating. But we don't want to look like we are harassing someone to defend the Prime Minister," Owino said.

He could not confirm whether Tobiko had formally instructed Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere to summon Miguna. Tobiko said on Monday that Miguna could face charges if it is established that he withheld crucial information about the perpetrators of the post election violence that kill over 1,300 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. "There is an offence in our law called accessory after the facts. Miguna Miguna exposes himself potentially to charges of being an accessory after the facts," Tobiko said.

Police yesterday blocked anti-Miguna demonstrators in Ahero, Nyando constituency from going to Miguna's rural home. Transport was paralysed along the Nairobi-Kisumu highway at Ahero as the demonstrators led by Nyando MP Fred Outa, EALA member Otieno Karan and some civic leaders marched along the road to protest against Miguna's book. They put Miguna's effigy in a black coffin box and attempted to go to his rural home at Magina.

Police stopped them at Ahero junction. They then set the effigy on fire on the highway paralyzing traffic. They said Miguna's book contained malicious propaganda against Raila Odinga. Outa threatened to sue Miguna for referring to him and Nyakach MP Pollyns Ochieng' as dour and and clueless in the book. Miguna said their contribution in Parliament could not fill a two lined paragraph. Outa beat Miguna in ODM primaries in 2007 and later clinched the Nyando seat on an ODM ticket.

Speaking separately, the clergy in Nyanza condemned Miguna for leaving the country without shedding more light on his allegations. Nyanza Council of Church leaders Chairman Bishop Washington Ogonyo Ngede and his deputy Bishop Julius Otieno Oloo said Miguna ought to have recorded statement with the Police. "This confirms to the people of Kenya that he had ulterior motive in his launch of the book," said Ngede.

He said the government should ensure the book does not raise anxiety ahead of the elections. "Miguna should know that no amount of malice will deter the premier from ascending to the Presidency," said Pollyns Ochieng'. Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara yesterday described Miguna as a fugitive on the run from justice. Imanyara told journalists at Parliament that Miguna was spotted in Amsterdam yesterday at 11am on his way to Canada. "The chest thumping, 'I fear no person, courageous warrior of democracy' has fled the country. He doesn't want to give information on what he knows about the post election violence," Imanyara said.

Imanyara said the countries that are providing Miguna with asylum should hand him over to the ICC as either a witness or an accused person. equated Miguna to "a jilted mad man". "In every market there is a mad man, and I guess this is also a case of madness, and shouts of mad men never should not bother you," Muhoroni MP Professor Ayiecho Olweny said. Assistant Finance minister, Oburu Oginga, Raila's brother, said Miguna was being used by the PM's opponents to tarnish his name before the elections.

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