The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Raila Will Not Sue Miguna Over Book

PRIME Minister Raila Odinga will not take legal action against Miguna Miguna over his book Peeling Back The Mask. The book, which was launched two weeks by Miguna who once served as Raila's adviser on constitutional affairs, details a litany of scams allegedly perpetrated by the PM's inner circle.

In a statement yesterday, Raila acknowledged "defamation is part of the tribulations of being a public figure". "The Prime Minister, as a champion of the rights in our constitution, has accepted to bear the hurt of defamation, rather than take any action that may discourage the advancement and expansion of the field of these rights," said the statement to the media signed by Paul Mwangi, the adviser to the PM on Legal Affairs.

Raila described Miguna's book as "the ugly thorns that grow on the bushes of the beautiful roses of freedom". "The constitutional position Raila has taken concerning the book and author should not be taken as a licence to any person, publication or media to repeat the scandalous and indecent sleaze retched by the writer or as a condonation by the Prime Minister of the same, nor as a discouragement of any person from vindicating their rights as against the author," said the statement.

Raila noted that the the exercise of any liberty carries with it the danger that it shall be abused. He said this is actionable in almost all instances but for where the abuse occurs in the process of the scrutiny of a public official. "Raila feels strongly that the country must open a new chapter in the freedom of expression and of the press. Without free exchange of ideas, this country will not move to become a first world country," Mwangi said.

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