How Miguna lost his Kenyan citizenship – Gov’t explains


File image of Lawyer Miguna Miguna. PHOTO| COURTESY
File image of Lawyer Miguna Miguna. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • According to the government, Miguna “automatically” lost his Kenyan citizenship when he acquired the Canadian citizenship since under the repealed Kenyan Constitution Kenyan citizens were allowed only one nationality.
  • However, after the new Constitution came into force, Kenyans who had lost their citizenship as a result of acquiring other nationalities were required to officially apply to regain their Kenyan citizenship.
  • The government says Miguna failed to formally re-apply for Kenyan citizenship which he had “automatically” lost therefore has continued being a Canadian citizen.

Mystery and confusion continues to enshroud the controversial deportation of Kenyan firebrand politician Miguna Miguna to Canada on Tuesday night.

While the government insists that Miguna, who was born in Kisumu County, was in the country illegally and is no longer a Kenyan Citizen, the self-declared NRM general says that despite holding Canadian citizenship he is still a Kenyan.

“I have never, ever renounced my Kenyan citizenship and will never do that. I’ve never even contemplated it,” said an infuriated Miguna on Wednesday, hours after his dramatic ejection from Kenya.

As questions linger on how one could lose nationality acquired by birth, the government has since issued a detailed statement on how and when the Kenyan-born Canadian lawyer Miguna Miguna lost his Kenyan Citizenship.

In a detailed statement, the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday said Miguna “automatically” lost his Kenyan citizenship when he acquired the Canadian citizenship since under the repealed Kenyan Constitution, Kenyan citizens were allowed only one nationality, a claim Miguna denies.

According to the government, after the new Constitution came into force, Kenyans who had lost their citizenship as a result of acquiring other nationalities were required to officially apply afresh in a bid to regain their citizenship, something they say Miguna failed to do.

The government says Miguna failed to formally re-apply for Kenyan citizenship which he had “automatically” lost therefore has continued being a Canadian citizen.

According to the Ministry of Interior, in 2009, then Minister for Immigration, the late Otieno Kajwang’ “illegally” provided Miguna with a Kenyan passport which was recently revoked followed by his deportation to Canada.

The question then remains, how was Miguna cleared to vie for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat yet one of the main electoral requirements is for one to be a Kenyan citizen?

Here is the government’s full statement on Miguna Miguna’s Citizenship:

Political activist Joshua Miguna Miguna was last night deported back to Canada based on the provisions of section 33(1) and 43(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011.

Miguna fled Kenya in 1988 using travel documents provided by a foreign country. Thereafter he acquired Canadian citizenship and has remained a Canadian citizen since then.

Miguna acquired Kenyan passport in 2009 at a time when it was illegal for a Kenyan to hold dual-citizenship without having denounced the foreign citizenship.

Prior to this, Miguna had applied for Kenyan Passport in 1987 to enable him travel to Cuba for a students’ conference.

His application for passport was rejected in a letter dated 12th September 1987 which gave Miguna reasons for the rejection. At the time Miguna was a students’ leader at the University of Nairobi before he was expelled from the University.

Under the repealed Constitution, Kenyan citizens were allowed only one nationality. Kenyan citizens who acquired other nationalities automatically lost their Kenyan citizenship.

When the new Constitution came into force, Kenyans who had lost their citizenship as a result of acquiring other nationalities were required to officially apply to regain their Kenyan citizenship.

Miguna never did this and therefore continued being a Canadian citizen.

In 2009, Miguna made an application for Kenyan passport at Kisumu Passport Control. Without following the requisite legal process, then Minister for Immigration, the late Otieno Kajwang’ ordered that Miguna be issued with a Kenyan passport.

The late Minister’s orders that Miguna be issued with a Kenyan passport without following the proper legal procedure as prescribed by law was illegal and had no backing in law.

At the time Miguna was unlawfully issued with Kenyan Passport he was working as an advisor to then then Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Prior to being illegally issued with a Kenyan passport, Miguna had been travelling using Canadian Passport No. MJ 393885 and WK 944502. Miguna renewed his Canadian passport in June 2017 just a few weeks to the general elections.

When Miguna acquired Kenyan passport in March 2009, he deliberately failed to disclose the fact that he had acquired citizenship of another country and therefore the Kenyan passport he acquired then was and still remains illegal.

Mwenda Njoka

Spokesman,

Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government for Director of Immigration Services,

7th February 2018.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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