Revealed: How Miguna Miguna Helped in Appointment of IEBC CEO

  • Journalist John Onyando, who served in the Opposition campaign, tells the inside story of Raila Odinga’s election machine in his book, Kenya: The Failed Quest for Electoral Justice and also how lawyer Miguna Miguna played a pivotal role in the appointment of former IEBC CEO James Humphrey Oswago.

    Onyando, in his book, tells the story of how while working for Raila Odinga in 2009 when he was the Prime Minister, an ODM youth leader informed him that a supporter of the Primer was unfairly being bypassed in appointment for the commission’s chairmanship.

    He passed the information to Miguna Miguna, who mobilized opposition to Lawyer Cecil Miller Jr had been recommended, forcing the lawyer to withdraw from the race.

    After that incident, Onyando narrated how he was told by a lawyer with close contacts with some members of the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs that MPs had made a silent agreement never to hire a Luo as a commissioner in the electoral agency.

    [caption caption="John Oyando (left), author of The failed quest for electoral justice and Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye (right) display the book during the launch of a book"][/caption]

    Onyango was later informed by the ODM youth leader that commission was going to appoint the CEO and although James Humphrey Oswago had topped in all the interviews he feared he was going to be bypassed since he was considered a Raila man.

    On hearing Oswago's predicament, Onyango spoke to Miguna Miguna who he noted might have been privy of the matter form Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo.

    They later reached out to the commission's chairman Hassan Issak directly, who helped him get him the job which was attributed to Oswago having worked as a personal assistant to former Chief of General Staff Gen Mohamud Mohamed.

    Even before settling on his job Oswago already had a target on his back, with commissioners raising issues over procurement and other decisions which later saw his bosses appoint a deputy CEO to moderate his influence.

    Onyando stated: "By the 2013 election, Oswago was, as I understood it, generally distrusted by the commissioners who took an active role in managing different aspects of the elections. In the recriminations following that controversial election, he appeared to disown the election results in public comments that further poisoned his relationship with his colleagues."

    [caption caption="Former IEBC CEO James Humphrey Oswago"][/caption]

    He further added: "Incidentally, he and other senior staff, and not the commissioners, were the ones prosecuted for alleged crimes over irregular procurement which resulted in his removal from office."