Irene Githinji @gitshee
All international airlines plying the Nairobi route and top travel agents have been alerted by their local travel agents, on behalf of the State, to verify travel documents for lawyer Miguna Miguna before issuing him a travel ticket from Canada to Kenya.
Highly placed sources in the Immigration department said the standing alert is the equivalent of a warning that any airline that flies Miguna home should be prepared to meet the cost of returning him to the point of origin should his travel documents be found not compliant with immigration requirements for him to return to Kenya.
A top international travel agent based in Nairobi told the People Daily yesterday that all airlines are familiar with the Miguna travel alert that was communicated without writing through the network of local travel agents, soon after his second deportation to Canada on March 29, aboard Emirates airlines.
This emerged as Miguna yesterday cancelled his highly publicised return. Miguna, who had posted on Twitter that his return to Kenya was “cast on granite”, said he could not travel home, after the Immigration Department failed to issue him with a valid Kenyan passport.
But the travel agent in Nairobi said no airline is going to allow a passenger on whom there is a travel alert to board, unless there is explicit clearance by the Immigration and proof of a valid travel document.
“The warning was circulated unofficially just after he was deported again. We have it in our WhatsApp groups, it’s not on paper. Even if he appears with a ticket no airline will allow him to board until it’s official that he is cleared,” said a top travel agent.
The passport would have facilitated his unconditional re-entry into Kenya as ordered by the High Court and formally requested by the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights (KNCHR) on his behalf and on advice from legal counsel.
“In view of the refusal by the Department of Immigration to issue me with a valid Kenyan passport to facilitate my unconditional entry…I have instructed my advocates to immediately bring to the attention of the court the continued wilful contempt of its orders,” Miguna said in a statement, without mentioning an alert against him issued to airlines.
“I was determined to arrive home on schedule, however, just before my departure, I reluctantly cancelled my flight to Nairobi and postponed my next arrival date,” he added, without mentioning which airline he had tried to book.
The self-proclaimed National Resistance Movement (NRM) head, however, said he will provide his new arrival date if the court gives further directions on this matter.