Kenya: KNCHR Seeks Passport for Miguna's May 16 Return

Photo: Capital FM
Miguna Miguna arriving at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in March.

Nairobi — The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has written to the State Department of Immigration asking for issuance of a fresh Kenyan passport to deported Opposition activist Miguna Miguna scheduled to return to the country on May 16.

In a letter also addressed to the Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons, KNCHR Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori also asked the government to purchase Miguna a ticket to enable him to travel from Toronto to Nairobi.

"Miguna has informed the KNCHR that he will return to Kenya on May 16, 2018. The Commission urges your office to comply with the court orders by issuing Miguna Miguna with a valid Kenyan passport," the letter dated May 5 reads in part.

Further, Mbogori asked for assurance that immigration officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) will facilitate her commission access to monitor Miguna's return.

An order directing the State to facilitate Miguna's return was secured in a ruling in Constitutional Petition No. 51 of 2018 in which Miguna had sued Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi and other immigration and security officials for violating of his right to citizenship and that to fair administrative action.

In its ruling, the court, however, said that Miguna was at liberty to use his Canadian passport to access the country in case his Kenyan passport is not readied.

Miguna's troubles with authorities started on January 30 when he administered a self-proclaimed oath on Orange Democratic Movement party leader, as the People's President.

The Canadian-schooled lawyer who once served as Raila Odinga's advisor during his tenure as Prime Minister was captured by detectives on February 2 at his Runda home.

He was then deported on February 6 after unsuccessful efforts by his lawyers to have him produced at a Nairobi court where a High Court judge had directed the State to present him.

Miguna's return on March 26 was characterized by a highly charged drama that lasted three days following his refusal to produce his Canadian Passport for clearance.

Immigration officials had argued that the only way Miguna could gain entry into the country was if he produced his travel document but Miguna insisted he had none since his Kenyan Passport had been seized and destroyed when he was initially thrown out of the country.

Authorities at JKIA forced Miguna into a Dubai plane on March 29, from where his flight had originated, ending three days of drama.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement defending the move saying the revocation of Miguna's Passport was procedural since the document had been acquired at a time Miguna was deemed to have renounced his Kenyan citizenship under the old Constitution which disallowed dual citizenship.

The ministry argued that Miguna needed to have made a formal application when the Constitution 2010 came into force reclaiming his citizenship but he never did so.

Attempts to have Miguna regularize his citizenship in March failed after the opposition figure who is known for a national civil disobedience campaign launched to protest the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta refused to fill and sign forms from the immigration department.

The self-declared general of the National Resistance Movement has since insisted that his citizenship by birth remained intact and could not be lost under whatever circumstances.

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