8 February 2018

Kenya: How State Secretly Plotted Miguna Miguna's 'Deportation' to Canada

Photo: Evans Habil/Daily Nation
Lawyer Miguna Miguna.

The deportation of self-declared National Resistance Movement "general" Miguna Miguna was crafted and executed while unsuspecting supporters and lawyers waited for him at the Milimani Law Courts.

It was a guarded secret that even some of the officers who were detaining him were not briefed on until the last minute.

And, when they escorted him to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at about 6pm on Tuesday, some of the officers thought Mr Miguna would be held at the Kenya Airport Police Unit detention cells.

ARREST

All this time, High Court Judge Luka Kimaru and opposition leaders and supporters, including Nasa leader Raila Odinga, kept vigil in the courtroom, expecting to see their comrade.

It was not until a few minutes to 8pm that they gave up and left one by one, hoping to see him in court on Wednesday, as directed by the Judge.

Since he was arrested last Friday, Mr Miguna was held at different police stations in Kiambu, Githunguri, Lari and the Kenya Ports Authority Inland depot off Mombasa Road.

PASSPORT

On Tuesday, he was driven to Kajiado Law Courts where he was held before being presented to the magistrate, who ordered he must be produced before the High Court in Nairobi.

The police team, instead of moving Mr Miguna to Milimani Law Courts where the High Court is situated, drove to the nearby Special Crimes Prevention Unit offices.

It is from there that he was whisked away to JKIA, from where he was held before being ushered into a KLM plane, which flew him to Amsterdam.

While at the airport, Immigration officials cleared him for travel and he boarded the plane at the airside.

His passport was also handed to airline staff with instructions to surrender it to Immigration officials after landing.

STATE REACTS

Two Kenyan government officials accompanied him on the flight with instructions to hand him over to their counterparts in Canada, the final destination.

Interior spokesman Mwenda Njoka explained the deportation in an official statement, saying Mr Miguna also had a Kenyan passport, but which was illegally issued in 2009 by then Immigration minister, the late Otieno Kajwang'.

Mr Njoka said it was issued "without following the requisite legal process", by orders of Kajwang'.

The statement said: "At the time he was working as an adviser to then Prime Minister Raila Odinga."

Prior to being illegally issued with a Kenyan passport, Mr Miguna had been travelling using a Canadian passport, which he renewed on June 2017.

CONSTITUTION

The 2010 Constitution allowed dual citizenship.

"When Miguna acquired a Kenyan passport on March 2009, he deliberately failed to disclose the fact that he had acquired the citizenship of another country and, therefore, the Kenyan passport he acquired then was and still remains illegal," Mr Njoka said.

An application for the disputed passport was at Kisumu Passport Control.

Mr Njoka went on: "The late minister's orders that Miguna be issued with a Kenyan passport without following the proper legal procedure as prescribed by law was illegal and had no backing in law."

He said that the deportation is supported by law.

APPLICATION DENIED

The spokesman went on to give a history of Mr Miguna's run-ins with the government.

"Miguna fled Kenya in 1988 using travel documents provided by a foreign country.

"Thereafter, he acquired Canadian citizenship and has remained a Canadian citizen since then.

"Miguna acquired Kenyan passport in 2009 at a time when it was illegal for a Kenyan to hold dual-citizenship without having denounced the foreign citizenship.

"Prior to this, Miguna had applied for a Kenyan passport in 1987 to enable him travel to Cuba for a students' conference. His application was rejected in a letter dated September 12, 1987.

"At the time Miguna was a student leader at the University of Nairobi before he was expelled," the statement said.

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