Miguna JKIA drama: the story so far


Miguna JKIA drama: the story so far
Miguna Miguna on arrival

In Summary

  • Why was Miguna Miguna denied entry into Kenya?
  • Why is the Immigration Department insisting that Miguna surrender his Canadian passport?
  • Where is Miguna after spending the night at JKIA?

For almost 24 hours now, a standoff continues to ensue at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi following the return of Miguna Miguna from Canada where he was deported to.

Why was Miguna Miguna denied entry to the country?

After landing at JKIA on Monday at 2.30pm, Immigration officials insisted that Miguna present the Canadian passport he used to travel with back to the country. They also asked him to apply for a tourist visa to which he declined as the document bars its holder from engaging in business or politics.

Efforts by various leaders including opposition chief Raila Odinga to push for Miguna’s release bore no fruit.

This degenerated into a scuffle, with security officers bundling Miguna into an Emirates flight in a plan to deport him to Dubai at around 11.30pm.

However, in one of the most dramatic airport incidents,  Miguna disembarked the flight prompting police to lock him up at the airport where he spent the night.

Why is the Kenyan Immigration Department insisting that Miguna surrender his Canadian passport?

The government still maintains its earlier position that Miguna lost his Kenyan status when he obtained a Canadian visa in 1998 as the country did not allow dual-citizenship at that time.

Immigration officials are further treating Miguna as a Canadian citizen after his Kenyan passport was seized and destroyed before his dramatic deportation to Canada in February.

Where is Miguna after spending the night at JKIA?

His whereabouts are still unclear since his lawyers say they have not seen or spoken to him since last night’s drama at the airport.

It is only his Canadian counsel that have been given access to him and Kenyan journalists are unable to determine his exact location. However, it is believed he is locked up in one of the rooms at the airport.

What is the government’s solution to the standoff?

In a bid to resolve Miguna Miguna’s entry standoff, the Immigration department on Tuesday morning sent application forms to the airport for him to regularise his citizenship status, hence, be allowed entry.

Miguna, however, declined to sign the documents and instead ripped them apart. He insists he cannot apply for citizenship because he is Kenyan by birth.

Why is Miguna refusing to sign the Citizenship documents?

Miguna’s Kenyan counsel insist that by signing the documents meant to regularise his citizenship he will be compromising an ongoing case in which he is challenging withdraw of his Citizenship by the State.

His lawyer Cliff Ombeta has advised him against the move since his rights as a Kenyan citizen were upheld by the Milimani High Court and it is now up to the Kenyan Government to prove otherwise.

So what next for Miguna?

It remains to be a wait-and-see situation since both sides maintain their hard-line positions. Meanwhile, a heavy contingent of police officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) is at the airport to ward off crowds from attempting to gain entry as they did yesterday.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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