Kenyan lawyers seeks Maraga opinion on Miguna saga

Friday, January 10th, 2020 00:00 |
Miguna Miguna stands at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on his aborted trip to Kenya on Monday. Photo/COURTESY

Anthony Mwangi and Zadock Angira

Kenyan lawyers now want the Supreme Court to pronounce itself on what action should be taken on errant State officers who disregard court orders.

Reacting on lawyer Miguna Miguna travails in which the government has refused to act on several court orders in relation to his unconditional return to the country, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) says it will go to court to invoke Chapter Six of the Constitution to have government officers defying court orders compelled to step aside.

LSK president Allen Gichuhi says the State has set a bad precedence by refusing to honour court orders.

“We will be seeking orders to have the State officers found to have defied court orders be forced to step aside,” Gichuki said.

Another constitutional lawyer, Mwaura Kabata, said the State officers could be enjoying powers derived from the positions they currently hold but it could haunt them when they leave office.

“The state officers can misuse power for now, but the situation will be different when they vacate office, it has happened to others before them,” warned Kabata.

Amnesty International-Kenya Chapter has said it will pile pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta to allow Miguna back into the country unconditionally.

Executive director Irungu Houghton said the lobby would resort to protests if the State continues to frustrate Miguna.

Last week, the High Court issued fresh orders directing the government to facilitate the entry of Miguna to the country.

Issuing the orders on Monday, Justice Weldon Korir directed Miguna’s Kenyan passport currently under the custody of the Registrar of the Court be released.

 However, in a replying affidavit yesterday, the Immigration Department maintained that Miguna knew his passport had expired and could not travel after March last year. 

 Principal Immigration Officer Alfred Omangi said Miguna applied for and was issued with his passport (No. A116842) on March 24, 2009 which was to expire on March 23, 2019. He also said they did not have the passport as it had been surrendered to the court as earlier directed by Justice Luka Kimaru.

“The applications for renewal or issuance of passports are done online through the e-citizen platform and that the applicant has never made any application for the same online as is the practice by all Kenyans worldwide,” he said.

It is now four days since the controversial lawyer was barred from flying into the country,  forcing him to traverse between Berlin and Paris seeking to be allowed to board a flight to Nairobi.

The State has given no reasons for denial has not been made clear. A number of reasons have been given which the controversial lawyer has dismissed.

Government spokesman Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna has given varied reasons, some conflicting, why Miguna can’t be allowed back.

Miguna attributed his tribulations to the fact that he could not be compromised while other sources said that apart from his abrasive personality, his continuous attack on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) had made some senior government officials uncomfortable.

While speaking on a Citizen  TV talkshow on Wednesday night, Miguna said though it was claimed that the BBI was meant to unite the country, government officials were blatantly violating his rights.

“The BBI was to unite Kenyans and bring inclusivity and peace. Am I not a Kenyan? How are they bringing peace when they do not respect our human rights?” he asked.

Miguna said the government was not comfortable with him since he could not be compromised and intimidated.

“They cannot buy me. I cannot be intimidated and threatened into silence. I speak the truth and am fearless. The youth of Kenya are actually supporting me,” he said. “I am one man. I am unarmed and I don’t have an army. I don’t occupy a public office but they fear what I speak about.”

Miguna narrated the ordeal he had undergone saying the manager checked his name and informed him that his passport had already been flagged and he had been denied access to Kenya

“I waited and just before we left, I tweeted. I checked in and went to my seat and as the plane was preparing to tax in, the manager approached me and informed me that I could not travel. There is nothing I have done to warrant what they are doing to me,” he said.

Miguna said he was not unruly and instead accused the government of harassing him, and that the latest red alert was only meant to provoke him.

Oguna had said that the red alert was issued in June last year after Miguna became unruly at the airport but Miguna defended himself saying he refused to board last year since he had not planned to travel.

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