Letter from Sarah Elderkin to Raila Odinga after Miguna Miguna sacking

From: Sarah Elderkin
To: Raila Odinga
Nairobi, August 6th, 2011
Dear Raila
Please find enclosed a number of documents related to Miguna’s sacking which I’d advise you to read. I am sending them to you because I think they are otherwise things you will not read.
They are:
1. Online responses to Miguna’s sacking
2. A column by Otieno Otieno in the Sunday Nation (in case you missed it)
3. An article by Miguna that I understand will appear in the Star on Tuesday.
4. Online responses to this article which has already appeared on the internet.
I am advising you to read particularly the online comments because they largely speak of you and of the discontentment with you and your office. I have not edited them and there was virtually no comment supporting the action of your office. I personally think that what has happened is appalling. When I heard of it my first thought was Moi and the trepidation with which people awaited the one o’clock news and roadside declarations about their sacking. It is terrible that an action of your office should reduce me, of all people, to that kind of comparison.

Apart from being completely ill-advised that you rid yourself of one of the best brains you have around you (and you have got some nincompoops, that’s for sure) this has been done in the most disgusting fashion. Public executions went out in the UK a couple of hundred years ago. They were mourned by some as a loss of a spectator sport. That a man who has been so loyal to you and to the party and put so much of himself into defending it against the destructive incursions from outside should be a publicly lynched in this manner is something I cannot and will never be able to condone. It is primitive and uncivilized and inhumane. How is this person ever to retrieve his reputation and continue with his life? Was this necessary? It’s a disgrace.

And that is not to go into the details. Suspended without pay? Apart from the fact that is completely illegal, Miguna has five young children at home to take of. Inhumane or what? What message does this give about you and your office?
You have people around you playing major roles who are irredeemably corrupt. Two of them were suspended earlier and then incomprehensibly re-instated. They were suspended on full pay and benefits. Now you have a man who is totally loyal and not invoved in your office staff’s blatant well-known all over town corruption yet he is suspended without pay and this is activated by one of those whose integrity I wouldn’t trust beyond a yard from me, someone the whole town talks about. Miguna gets no chance to head and answer allegations? This is against the most basic of labour laws and totally contrary to natural justice.
Hearing about it through the media and in such a spectacular character-assasination way? Well, words fail me. I would never had thought any action by your office would come to this.Issuing all Miguna’s staff with sacking letter? What have they done? What depths of inhumanity can we sink to here? And then changing the locks on Miguna’s office so he cannot even retrieve his own belongings. Is he a criminal now?
What a shabby, mean, indefensible and contemptible way to treat anyone. More important, what a demonstration of business as usual, new Constitution or not. You know that I will defend you through thick and thing. However, I have my standards and integrity and I will not compromise those for anyone. I consider it my duty and obligation to tell you privately exactly what I think of this utterly shameful episode. Only you can rectify the damage done, both to Miguna and, even more importantly to yourself.
Please read the enclosed documents. Things in your office and party appear to have got drastically out of kilter with what we stood for.
-Sarah.

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