Miguna finally boards after long wait at Germany airport

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Lawyer Miguna Miguna when he was stranded in Germany. Photo/PD/COURTESY

The government finally paved way for an end to controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna’s forced exile last evening by lifting a red alert that had stalled the final leg of his much-anticipated return from Canada.

Miguna was holed up in Frankfurt airport, Germany, for the better part of yesterday after it emerged that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had threatened to deny German jetliner Lufthansa landing rights in Nairobi if Miguna was aboard any of their flights.

The melodramatic lawyer took to his all familiar social media handles late last night to convey an end to the standoff.

“Unbowed! Dynamic. Resourceful. A Kenyan by birth and right. Kenyan are not slaves. Freedom must come through the fearless pursuit of truth and justice. See you in Nairobi,” he tweeted.

Touch down

Miguna also indicated that his flight would touch down at JKIA at 9:45am in the post. There had been fears Miguna would not be coming home after the day-long standoff that played out in public through social media and press statements.

Earlier, his lawyer John Khaminwa said he has been in contact with Miguna who confirmed he had been stopped from boarding the flight to Nairobi as a red alert issued by the government when he was first deported, was still in force.

“I have tried to reach Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i and the Director of Immigration Alexander Muteshi to no avail, they are not picking calls, we are in a desperate situation,” Khaminwa said in an interview with People Daily.

The lawyer said it was disturbing that even after the government issued a statement that it would comply with the court order and allow Miguna back into the country, the situation was different.

“The department of Immigration and even President Uhuru Kenyatta have pronounced themselves to the matter and we did not expect problems to arise again today.

Miguna was expected to attend a funeral of a relative and he should not be stopped,” Khaminwa added.

Miguna got a rude shock yesterday after the Lufthansa Air refused to allow him on board until the red alert is lifted. He had successfully made his journey, from Canada to Germany, and was preparing to board when he was informed of the restriction.

“In fact, the Kenya government has demanded that Lufthansa must refund my fare. They have demanded that Lufthansa should not fly me into any other African country, either,” Miguna wrote on his Twitter handle.

The Interior ministry, in the red alert signed by Matiang’i, warned the airline against flying the lawyer to Kenya or any other African country.

Khaminwa said he would go back to court this morning to seek fresh orders to have his client allowed back home. “It is unfortunate the authorities have decided to disobey the court orders,” he said.

Unsuccessful attempt

Miguna wrote: “Lufthansa has stated that it is ready to transport me to Kenya when the RED ALERT has been formally cancelled or withdrawn by the illegitimate Government of Kenya.

But as of now, despite lies peddled via social media and press statements, the RED ALERT has not been cancelled.”

Government Spokesman Col (rtd) Cyrus Oguna said he could neither confirm nor deny whether the red alert was sent or if it has been in place since 2018 when Miguna unsuccessfully attempted to return.

“But that (red alert) is an issue that can be sorted out by the Foreign Affairs ministry,” he said, adding that Miguna is free to travel to Kenya on the assurances of Uhuru.

Miguna has been in exile in Canada for the last two years after he was deported following a spat with the government over the sham swearing-in of Opposition leader Raila Odinga in 2018.

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