Miguna return: Court summons AG over ignored orders

Wednesday March 18 2020
By SAM KIPLAGAT

A court has summoned Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki or a senior official from his office to explain why orders directing the government to facilitate lawyer Miguna Miguna's return have been ignored.

Justice John Mativo noted on Friday that the government has disobeyed several orders on the matter.

But the government, through State Counsel Christopher Marwa, said that Dr Miguna’s passport expired in March 2018 and he has not applied to renew it.

Mr Marwa also said that Dr Miguna can use his Canadian passport to gain entry into Kenya or seek renewal of his passport locally or at any Kenyan embassy abroad.

E-PASSPORT

Through lawyer John Khaminwa, Dr Miguna said court orders exist not for cosmetic purposes, but to be obeyed.

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He has accused the government of consistently disobeying them and said the attorney-general must explain why.

But counsel Marwa said the government has demonstrated its willingness to obey the orders.

He said Dr Miguna’s passport is expired and has not been renewed yet the application is done online, through the e-Citizen platform.

Mr Marwa said the government announced that all Kenyans with old generation passports needed to acquire e-passports from September 1, 2017.

The lawyer told the court that millions of Kenyans all over the world have applied and acquired the document but Dr Miguna has decided not to.

He said the government cannot compel any citizen to apply for a new passport and that there is no law or practice that compels it to issue one when a citizen has not applied for it.

COMPLIANCE

Mr Alfred Omangi, the Principal Immigration Officer, has filed an affidavit in court on the matter of Dr Miguna's return.

Mr Omangi said Kenya Citizenship Regulations, 2012 allow Dr Miguna, as a Kenyan, the right to enter and leave the country using another passport, as long as it is lawfully acquired.

He futher said the Immigration Department sought advice on Dr Miguna’s return from the attorney-general and was informed that he should be allowed back on the strength of the judgment he obtained on December 14, 2018.

“We have intentions of abiding by the court order,” he said.

RED ALERT

On Monday, Justice Weldon Korir ordered the government to facilitate the controversial lawyer's return.

The Kenyan-born lawyer filed the application, saying he was due to return to the country on January 7, aboard Lufthansa flight LH 590.

He said the return should be facilitated on the basis of his constitutional right as a Kenyan and the force of orders issued by the High Court.

However, Dr Miguna was barred from boarding a flight in Frankfurt, Germany, over what the airline said was a red alert issued by Kenya.

"A Kenyan citizen does not need a visa or permission to enter Kenya," he wrote on Friday on Twitter, a platform where supporters have continued to refer to him as their General.

The case will be heard on Monday.