Miguna, State blamed for protracted drama

Wangui Githugo @Wango_G

Three organisations have termed the re-deportation of controversial lawyer and Nasa activist Miguna Miguna as global ridicule to Kenya.

While faulting both government and Miguna for escalating the saga surrounding his entry into Kenya, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and Media Council of Kenya (MCK), in a joint press briefing, expressed their disappointment towards Miguna for not using his Canadian passport to acquire entry into the country on Monday and also condemned the manner in which the government has handled the matter.

The groups leaders said had Miguna used his Canadian passport, in absence of his Kenyan one, as the High Court had ordered earlier last month, there would not have been the standoff witnessed since his arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday.

According to KNCHR’s Principal Human Rights Officer Kamanda Mucheke, there was no preferential treatment as Miguna disembarked the plane and went through the passenger arrival movement up to the Immigration point where the standoff ensued.

Mucheke said it is Miguna who demanded the Immigration officials to produce his Kenyan passport for stamping instead of using his Canadian one to allow him access relevant Immigration points to re-enter the country.

Despite the officials saying Miguna did not break any law by refusing to hand over his travel documents for re-entry, they said they were baffled by Miguna’s position as he was expected to produce the Canadian papers that he used to return.

“He somehow became boisterous and engaged in a scuffle with Immigration officials, but this is not an excuse to blatantly breach of court orders,” said Mucheke.

In the same breath, the three groups condemned the State’s blatant disregard of court orders and for not exploiting alternative means to allow Miguna into the country.

KNCHR chair Kagwiria Mbogori said had the government adhered to court orders, no drama would have unfolded after Miguna landed back from Canada.

Mbogori called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to move with haste and handle the situation “with the highest degree of professionalism” that it deserves. “We were actually regaining political tranquility and we hope the gains shall not be lost in this unfortunate process of disobedience of court orders.

We call upon the government to lead by example and respect the institutions created by the Constitution,” said Mbogori. LSK vice chair Harriet Chiggai said the legal fraternity is becoming increasingly concerned that the judicial arm of the government is besieged by the Executive through commissions established by the Constitution and legislations.

“The present circumstances are telling, a manifestation of such disregard of the law and orders of the court. The court ordered his return but he was held incommunicado with no clear reasons and explanations,” said Chaggai.

It is the second time that Miguna has been deported despite an order for him to be produced in court. The first time was when he was forced to Canada on February 8 after he “swore-in” Nasa principal Raila Odinga as the ‘people’s president’.

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