The writer erred in dowplaying Wafula Buke’s reform credentials

Recently a section of the media published an article which was written by one Ongoro wa’ Munga.

The article which according to me and those privy to real struggle for second liberation is full of malice and lies aimed at tainting Wafula Buke’s reputation.wa’Munga’s article is intended to distort history by praising the cowards at the expense of real heroes of the second liberation.

I first learnt about Buke’s heroic acts in late 1980’s when he was expelled from the university because of his views against Moism.It was an act of courage that many dared not to stand and be counted. He had a strong position about what he stood for and that is why the system feared him more and jailed him for five years while others like Miguna were acquitted.

I was young but my dad and elder brother always helped me to go through the newspapers and some magazines like the then Hillary Ngweno’s weekly review and Gitobu Imanyara’s Nairobi law monthly. When I joined the university of Nairobi in 2000, it happened that one of my lifelong desires was achieved; meeting Wafula Buke whom I still consider one of the greatest and true Kenyan heroes to date.

My knowledge of Buke as a the most sincere pro democracy crusader , a resilient, independent minded, strong willed mentor and a freedom fighter of our age that can hardly be compromised.

In the article, the writer tries to mitigate Miguna’s supposed credentials in the struggle as superior to Buke’s when he knows very well that Miguna is only known to his campus colleagues of that time.

Though I wasn’t part of that group, my familiarity with Buke informs me that the writer was inaccurate in his imaginations. There are many reasons why I agree with Buke when he said that Miguna’s struggle for change ended in 1987 at the University of Nairobi . The writer fails to cite any significant argument other than the good English .

Wafula Buke’s name is synonymous with the struggle for change in this country and at no point has Buke been a sycophant. it must be known that Buke’s contemporaries who chose sycophancy over principles are the ones who enjoyed during Moi’s time and are still enjoying the fruits of corruption even in the current government; an opportunity Buke denied himself because of what he stood for .given his position as SONU chairman then,Buke would have chosen the easier way of getting compromised or selling out his comrades and avoiding prison or playing sycophancy to western powers in order to earn a refugee status or foreign citizenship like Miguna.but Buke must be lauded for he avoided this temptation and still got involved in the liberation politics even after leaving prison.

Buke continued to play a major role in the struggle and his efforts and those of the likes of George Anyona,Koigi wa Wamwere,Njeru Kathangu,Wanyiri Kihoro ,Dr.Willy Mutunga,Mwandawiro Mghanga,Dr.Mukaru Ng’ang’a and others are the ones that have taken us this far as far as growth of democracy is concerned.

The writer’s hero Miguna Miguna plays an obscure role in this if any. The writer seems to have been around for quite some time since he claims that he was at the university of Nairobi a little time earlier than Wafula Buke and Miguna Miguna.

What he doesn’t tell us is his(the writer’s) own role in bringing change in this country. He looks like a new entrant .he falls in the category of spectators and therefore has no moral authority to talk about the discomforts of being in prison.

He doesn’t know what prison is. He is a coward who never dared take the central part of the struggle for change and he now seeks relevance by claiming that he knows both Buke and Miguna.Not all those who got expelled by university authorities fought for justice. Its interesting that the writer’s misguided analysis fails to explain his own lack of political presence despite claiming that he was expelled from the university at some point before the same fate befell Buke and Miguna.

It’s primitive for Mr.wa’Muga to insinuate that anyone is jealous or envies Miguna’s supposed academic achievements. Academic achievements only have value to individuals who posses them. Whatever the so called achievements are; they serve purpose to the individual who posses them and have little benefit to the nation as compared to the struggle for freedom justice and equality.

The freedom that Buke fought for is what has made Miguna to come and reclaim Kenyan citizenship and even get a job which he couldn’t get under previous circumstances that he ran away from. No one cares whether he has a million degrees; that is for his own personal benefit, not the nation’s. Let it be known too that there are many people who are more educated than Miguna.

Let it also be known that education is different from leadership, diplomacy and wisdom; qualities that I find scarce in Miguna as a person. He is just one of many professionals in his field. If that is what informs Miguna’s belligerence and self importance attitude, then he is totally misguided.

I happened to hear about Miguna Miguna for the first time through reading a number of his articles on some blogs during his days as an armchair activist in Canada.Miguna must know that there is a very big difference between writing from a safe distance and operating on the frontline.Buke’s credentials are evident through the works he did including mentoring and helping many young student leaders into developing ideologically oriented leadership.

I can authoritatively say that Buke mentored many of us while Miguna was busy writing to imaginary audiences in Canada.Buke played a significant role in even assisting students who were expelled and suspended.

Apart from giving us political education, he together with Professor Kivutha Kibwana helped so many suspended and expelled students including providing accommodation for over 20 students at a time. Where was Miguna then? He was in Canada writing articles and developing the character of drowning in his own megalomaniac imaginations which is the syndrome he suffers from to date.

Some of the people Buke mentored to student leadership include the likes of Ndolo Asasa, Mwengi Mutuse, Otieno Caleb David, Isaac Mukenya, Moses Oburu, Irungu Kang’ata,the late comrade Oulu GPO, Makokha Wanjala, to name but a few.Buke sheltered many comrades who couldn’t be welcome anywhere else after being suspended.

It was through Buke’s mentorship that despite the meager resources, I was able to contest and win SONU Vice Chairmanship in 2003 .Where was Miguna at that time? Living in the comfort zone of what he called political exile?

Where was Miguna when Buke joined together with other pro change activists in the struggle for the new constitutional order under Muungano Wa Mageuzi? During our days in SONU,which was as recent as 2003,mentioning Wafula Buke,Tito Adungosi,James Orengo,Wanyiri Kihoro Mwandwiro Mghanga ,Chelagat Mutai,Kabando wa Kabando,Otieno Aluoka;gave automatic votes to any candidate who was able to quote the said names in his/her speech.

Those names gave impression that the candidate knew the history of SONU. Those names to date define the true lineage of SONU leadership. I dint hear anyone mention Miguna Miguna. What kind of personality is this Miguna Miguna?he is a person whose main ideology is self righteosness. its a pity that he opts to insults whenever challenged or whenever he differs with anyone in ideas.

Since this Miguna fellow got an opportunity to be known to Kenyans he has been making uncivilized moves every time he does anything. He is rubbing everyone’s shoulders the wrong way. he is an intolerant person who doesn’t deserve a position like being the advisor to the Prime Minister.

I doubt if the Prime Minister relies on the advice of this intolerant character that happens to send around offensive and unprintable text messages to people who disagree with him in principle. It’s shameful that out of so many competent Kenyans, the Prime Minister appointed him as the chief advisor.

Miguna’s self righteous attitude drove him to even send unprintable insults to human rights activist and playwright Okiya Omtatah Okoiti just because they had a differing opinion on some political issue. Wafula Buke is an icon of the struggle for the second liberation and that is why those who envy his moral political achievements are out to taint his name.

History will honour Buke and shame on them who want to mitigate their absence in the struggle by downplaying Buke’s sacrifice that eventually highly contributed to the democratic change that we attained. The writer wants us to Google Miguna as the founding coordinator of the committee of democracy in Kenya .

The struggle for change is not about the elitist .the grassroots don’t know how to Google and that informs how out of touch the writer and his friend Miguna are. it is also wrong for the writer to seek legitimacy by linking whatever he claims to be Miguna’s struggle to the sacrifices the likes of Dr.Willy Mutunga made to help us get to where we are.

Miguna can not fit in the league of true pro-democracy activists like Dr.Mutunga.Miguna’s irrationality, self importance, self righteousness and the know it all mentality is the opposite of the values that people like Dr.Mutunga espouse.

They cannot be in the same league. If you ask majority of Kenyans, they will tell you that they only came to know Miguna, after him exposing the awful character which included him trying to derail the constitution review process when he walked out of the consensus meeting. There is hardly anything positive to say about Miguna.

The writer has given an example of Govani Mbeki and Chris Hani as having brought about change while in exile. if find this out of context and cannot apply in the struggle for second liberation in Kenya.ANC was fighting for freedom fro colonialists while the second liberation was about saving Kenya from an African dictator; Daniel arap Moi.

The writer also forgets the recent contribution Buke made in their ODM campaigns. were it not for Buke’s personal effort the ODM presidential candidate wouldn’t have got the number of votes that he got in Bungoma.I witnessed Buke’s campaigns firsthand when he tried to campaign in what was perceived to be a PNU zone in 2007.

Buke managed to help a number of ODM parliamentary candidates into victory and a surprise performance of the presidential candidate who got over 40 percent of the vote in the larger Bungoma.what votes did Miguna take to the ODM campaign?Miguna must be happy that its because of the efforts of the likes of Buke that he enjoys the comfort of working in the Prime Minister’s office, otherwise there couldn’t be such an office in this country.

Miguna owes Buke gratitude.

I am yet to see Miguna’s credentials in the struggle if at all there are any.

Fwamba NC Fwamba
fwambanc@yahoo. com

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