Politics

Miguna’s coming: Former CJ Mutunga to bring deported lawyer back

Mutunga announced that he’ll personally travel to Toronto to accompany the firebrand lawyer and self-declared national resistance movement (NRM)

Story Highlights
  • Miguna, who hold citizenship for Kenya and Canada, was first deported in February 2018 after taking part in the  swearing-in of Raila as the 'People's President' at Uhuru Park on January 30, 2018.

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga is set to travel to Canada and come back with deported lawyer Miguna Miguna next month.

Mutunga announced that he’ll personally travel to Toronto to accompany the firebrand lawyer and self-declared national resistance movement (NRM)

Whether Miguna will be allowed to enter is another issue.

“I am also seeking out Kenyan journalists who will accompany me on this historic journey,” the former Supreme Court president said on Wednesday.

The plan, well-coordinated to attract international attention, would pile pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta whose administration has been accused of illegally deporting Miguna, to allow him back.

“I appeal to all Kenyans of goodwill and to our friends in other countries to support this cause because it is just,” Mutunga said in a statement posted on Mutunga Elephant, an online site.

The journey, Mutunga hinted, will be streamed online from Toronto all the way to Nairobi.

The authorities have controversially twice deported the former aide of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, despite several court orders restraining them.

Miguna said he has taken the extraordinary step for two reasons.

“The first is because of the continued, flagrant and reprehensible defiance of the Government of Kenya, its agencies and senior officials, against the numerous valid court orders in favour of Mr Miguna,” he

“The second reason … is to support and defend the independence of our Judiciary, its authority and the people’s confidence in it,” Mutunga, a human rights defender said.

Mutunga accused the government of abusing Miguna’s rights and disregarding several court orders directing it to facilitate the lawyer’s return to the country.

“It is now 1,355 days — three years, eight months and 17 days – since Mr Miguna was illegally and brutally forced into exile by the Government of Kenya.

“None of the court orders referred to above has been obeyed or complied with by the state or its agents and officials,” he said.

Miguna, who hold citizenship for Kenya and Canada, was first deported in February 2018 after taking part in the  swearing-in of Raila as the ‘People’s President’ at Uhuru Park on January 30, 2018.

Lawyer Miguna presided over the  ceremony after the former Prime Minister and his team rejected the re-election of the President.

Prior to the deportation, Miguna was picked at his Runda home in the middle of the night in the raid that also targeted other opposition politicians who participated in the event.

The lawyer said that his house was severely damaged by explosives. Miguna was detained incommunicado for about six days.

His lawyers obtained orders for his release and production in court.

The government, nevertheless, ignored the court and expatriated him.

Miguna’s attempt to return to the country in March, the same year, were thwarted as the authorities blocked and detained him at JKIA.

Drama ensued at the airport as government officials dragged and bundled him into an Dubai-bound Emirates flight.

Miguna, however, rejected the deportation, causing chaos and drama in the flight that was delayed for hours.

The pilots declared Miguna a hostile passenger and ordered him to leave.

Miguna was left at the departure lounge where he spent the night before

Immigration officials said he did not have a passport that he had arrived with earlier on to enable him be cleared.

“To enable Miguna to regularise his citizenship status, the Department of Immigration has this morning dispatched the requisite application forms to JKIA for Miguna to duly fill for processing,” then acting director of Immigration Joseph Munywoki had said.

Later, Miguna found himself in Dubai. He claimed that he was drugged and injected with harmful substance before being bundled into aircraft.

On March 2019, Justice George Odinga found Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and other immigration officers in contempt of court and fined them Sh200,000 each.

Justice Chacha Mwita also awarded Miguna Sh7 million in damages and Sh270,000 for the damage of his house.

Mutunga wants the state to “immediately and unconditionally withdraws the red alerts that it has issued against Miguna Miguna and allows all airlines to fly [him] to Kenya.”

He also want the state to publicly apologise to the lawyer and the country and then comply with the court orders.

He also wants the state not to block Miguna’s entry and his rights to be issued with a valid Kenyan Passport.

Miguna, he demanded, must be allowed to free speech, association, assembly and travel safeguarded.

Mutunga called on Kenyans to demand that the government comply fully with the court orders, including the prompt payment of all awards, costs and accruing interest.

“Court orders are not suggestions. They are not requests. They cannot be disregarded without consequence,” he said.

Via
Julius Otieno
Source
The Star

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