7 February 2019

Kenya: City Club Seeks Sh48 Million Over Deportation of Pakistani Belly Dancers

A Nairobi club that flew in eight Pakistani belly dancers with the assistance of Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa is now seeking Sh48 million in damages for loss of business following their deportation.

The lawyer for Balle Balle Club in Parklands told Justice Luka Kimaru that the deportation of the dancers by police infringed on its rights and business.

"The dancers had been issued with special permits by the Sports CS to perform at the Balle Balle Club during the festive season but were arrested and detained illegally by police," lawyer Evans Ondieki told the court on Wednesday.

POLICE ACTION

Mr Ondieki said the police action was as "a result of illegal fusion of the powers of the office of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and those of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI)".

The court heard that the foreign cultural dancers were arrested by "an amorphous body known as Inter-Agency Investigators" drawn from the offices of the DCI, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Transnational Crime Unit.

As a result, the court heard, the girls were bundled out of the club and detained for 36 hours without bathing, which was a violation of their basic rights.

Police are said to have arrested the girls and detained them as they investigated the validity of the special passes signed by Mr Echesa.

The club is now seeking orders restraining the DCI, DPP and Transnational Organised Crime Unit from entering, harassing, intimidating, arresting or doing anything prejudicial to its directors.

REQUIRED PERMITS

The club told the court it is engaged in legitimate business and has paid all the statutory fees and obtained all the required permits.

The club has named the DCI, DPP and Transnational Organised Crime Unit as respondents in the case.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Interior said the women were deported on January 4 for violating the terms of the temporary passes that allowed them into Kenya.

They are said to have engaged in activities outside what was specified in their entry documents.

Justice Kimaru will issue directions on the matter on February 13.

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