Kenya: Miguna Says Does Not Regret Swearing-in Odinga and Did Not Break Any Law

28 October 2021

Nairobi Kenya — Controversial activist and lawyer Miguna Miguna insists that he did not break any law by swearing in Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga when he contested the 2017 elections.

Odinga contested the election results, accusing incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of stealing the vote, leading to a mock swearing-in of the Opposition chief at a ceremony in Uhuru Park, Nairobi that sparked tensions in the country.

Miguna was deported to Canada in 2018 after he swore in Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga as the 'People's President' after the Orange Party contested the 2017 General Elections.

This led to the arrest of several opposition leaders, including Miguna but Odinga was not arrested or charged.

Speaking during an interview on KTN News on Wednesday night, Miguna said his deportation was illegal and insists he will seek justice.

Miguna was arrested, sedated and put into a plane before he was forced out of the country in what was linked to the swearing-in. Kenya subsequently issued red alerts to airlines against flying him back into the country.

The State insisted at the time that Miguna lost his Kenyan citizenship after acquiring the Canadian citizenship at a time the country did not allow dual citizenship

In the deportation order, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i stated that Miguna was in the country illegally and his presence in Kenya was detrimental to national interests.

"The deportation was illegal, there was no justification at all to bundle me out of the country and argue that I had lost my citizenship," Miguna told the programme host Ken Mijungu.

In deporting him, the government claimed at the time that Miguna had lost his citizenship when he moved to Canada and obtained the country's citizenship.

"Ken, you know that I am a Kenyan and I even speak better Luo than you," Miguna said, "they fear me and they know that I don't fear anything. I don't fear money and they know that I can not be compromised by anyone and that is why they took me out."

Miguna insists that he was deported "because they fear that I am able to mobilize for resistance against the illegitimate government."

Miguna was a fierce supporter of Odinga, but has since fallen out with him, and turned his fierce critic.

"Raila is a conman, he can not stand for anything and that is why he shook hands with Kenyatta for his own interest," he said.

During the TV interview, Miguna engaged the show host Mijung'u, asking him to state and prove which law he broke by swearing in Odinga.

"You yourself went ahead after the declaration, to swear in Raila Odinga," Mijungu said, suggesting that whereas the state had been fined for disobeying court orders, Miguna had also broken the law by performing the controversial swearing in ceremony.

Miguna holds that for him to have broken a law, it must exist.

"So Ken, you happened to have gone to law school, didn't you? I'm asking you a question," Miguna posed, "Tell me what law did I break, which statute did I break? Which section of the constitution says that I could not swear in Raila Odinga?"

The interview was characterised by a long stand-off between Miguna and the show host who demanded to given more time to explain his issues, often accusing him of interrupting him.

"You can't answer your questions, and I'm going to answer your questions the way I want, not the way you want," Miguna said, "You better keep quiet when I'm answering your questions, No! No! No! No! Ken, once you ask me a question, you keep quiet, and otherwise this is not an interview."

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has launched a campaign with other activists renewing efforts to ensure Miguna is back to Kenya on November 16.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mutunga faulted the State for what he termed as a flagrant violation of the law and multiple court orders directing the Immigration Department to restore Miguna's confiscated Kenyan passport and allow him back to the country unrestrained, says he has taken the initiative to defend judiciary's independence.

"I have decided to undertake this journey to support and defend the independence of our judiciary, its authority, and the people's confidence in it," he stated.

Mutunga further called out the government for infringing Miguna's rights by not allowing him entry to his motherland, despite numerous court orders that allow him to do so.

"Miguna has a court order that grants him safe passage into the country. Ideally, he should be able to enter and leave the country as he pleases but that is not the case. I demand that the government comply fully with the orders, including the prompt payment of all awards, costs and accruing interest. Justice demands no less," he said.

Mutunga who served as Kenya's first Chief Justice under the 2010 Constitution also challenged the State to purge contempt findings against Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, the Immigration Director-General Gordon Kihalagwa, former Police boss Joseph Boinnet and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

"To date, none of the contemnors has purged their contempt. They, therefore, continue to undermine the rule of law and to violate the oath of office they took as state officers," he said.

The three, alongside Flying Squad chief, Said Kiprotich, were fined Sh200,000 each after Justice George Odunga found them to be in contempt of court.

Mutunga also urged the government to retract red alerts issued against Miguna to allow him seamless entry in the country in November.

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