3 April 2018

Kenya: MPs Set to Grill Fred Matiang'i Over Miguna Miguna Saga

Photo: CS Fred Matiangi/Twitter
Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i speaking before the parliamentary committee that oversees the Interior ministry.

The parliamentary committee that oversees the Interior ministry is today scheduled to meet Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, his principal secretaries and Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet over Miguna Miguna's saga.

The meeting, which is to take place at the Continental House, is for the government to give its side of the story in the denial of entry, mistreatment and deportation of the fiery government critic who was born in Kenya, has a Kenyan identity card and is a naturalised Canadian.

PASSPORT

Dr Matiang'i and Mr Boinnet last week failed to appear before the High Court to explain circumstances behind the re-deportation of Dr Miguna, and it remains to be seen whether they will honour the date with lawmakers.

During a similar sitting last month that involved ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru on TV shutdown in January for airing a pro-opposition event, the ball was thrown to the president's court by invoking the National Security Council.

Mr Mucheru told the Senate committee on Information Communication and Technology that his ministry had nothing to do with the shutdown, saying the matter was a national security issue beyond the scope of his docket.

Whether Dr Matiang'i will use the same approach is a matter of wait-and-see.

As the storm over Dr Miguna's first deportation in February brewed, the government has been arguing that he acquired his Kenyan passport illegally in 2008, with the help of the then Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang' after several of his applications had been rejected.

DUAL CITIZENS

The government has been arguing that since he acquired the Canadian passport at a time the Constitution did not allow dual citizenship, Dr Miguna was deemed to have been one of those Kenyans abroad who were required to apply for Kenyan citizenship when the current Constitution came into force in August 2010.

"Between August 27, 2010 and March 31, 2018, some 2,571 Kenyans had re-applied and regained their citizenship, now as dual citizens. But Dr Miguna is not one of them," pro-Jubilee columnist Peter Kagwanja writes in his latest Sunday Nation column.

"In 2010, activists from the Party of National Unity (PNU) side of the coalition accused Dr Miguna of holding both Canadian and Kenyan passports criminally and pushed for his deportation because the law did not allow dual citizenship at the time. Dr Miguna argued that he was a Kenyan citizen by birth and that he had never renounced his citizenship," adds Dr Kagwanja.

In court, the government has justified Dr Miguna's second deportation to Dubai as necessary since the self-declared general of the National Resistance Movement refused to produce his passport when he landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last Monday.

ID

Mr Jimmy Edwin Nyikuli, the legal officer in the investigations and prosecution section at the Immigration department, stated in an affidavit to the High Court last Wednesday that Dr Miguna could not be admitted into Kenya without producing his Kenyan passport.

The lawyer had only produced his national identity card.

"The national identity card is only acceptable as a travel document to and from Northern Corridor countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. Dr Miguna's travel itinerary indicated he had not originated from any of these countries," he wrote.

"Given the security situation that was obtaining at the time that was caused by the chaotic scenes and his insistence not to produce his travel documents, he was declared an undocumented person and the Emirates airline flight number EK719 was indemnified and compelled to return him to his country of last embankment," added Mr Nyikuli.

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