Why Miguna might not be Nairobi Deputy Governor


Why Miguna might not be Nairobi Deputy Governor
Miguna Miguna during detention at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in March 2018. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The government maintains that Miguna lost his Kenyan birthright when he acquired Canadian citizenship hence the need to make a fresh application for a passport.
  • A person is not eligible for election or appointment to a State office unless the person is a citizen of Kenya.
  • A State officer or a member of the defence forces shall not hold dual citizenship.

The political world is still reeling from the late night shock delivered by one Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who nominated controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna to be his deputy.

While Miguna’s lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Nelson Havi have said they believe he should accept the position, there seem to be legal hurdles on his way to City Hall.

For one, the Constitution, under the Citizenship and Leadership clause spells out two reasons that may be used to kill whatever hopes the man has on getting the job.

One; “A person is not eligible for election or appointment to a State office unless the person is a citizen of Kenya.” As recent as two months ago when Miguna was deported to Canada, the government said the Kenyan national identity card he has was an illegal document.

Immigration Department PS Gordon Kihalangwa together with the top security bosses; Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet maintain that Miguna lost his Kenyan birthright when he acquired Canadian citizenship hence the need to make a fresh application for a passport.

“The ID card Miguna has today (April 3, 2018)  is an invalid document. Even if he regains his citizenship he will have to go to the National Registration Bureau to get an ID so that he can process his passport,” Kihalangwa told the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.

If Miguna wants the DG gig, he must, according to Kihalangwa, regain his citizenship. To do that, he is required to make an application through the Immigration Department after which the documents are forwarded to the Cabinet Secretary for endorsement.

The second legal hurdle for Miguna as per the Constitution; “A State officer or a member of the defence forces shall not hold dual citizenship.”

The take-no-prisoners Miguna holds a Canadian passport and if this is to be followed, then he cannot be Deputy Governor though it remains to be seen what happens if he regains his citizenship.

Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi confirmed that while Miguna has been nominated by the governor, there is no vetting that can take place to confirm him.

“I’ll tell him, first of all you are Canadian, clear your issues with the Kenyan government and then when we can now understand we have a deputy governor,” she told Jeff Koinange and Jalang’o during an interview on Hot96.

“The law says very clearly you have be a Kenyan… he must first get his Kenyan passport.”

Elachi, who advised the lawyer not to jump on the next flight to Kenya says once he has cleared all the legal hurdles, then the vetting process will commence and he will need 90 votes to be confirmed as Sonko’s deputy.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja tweeted his reaction; “Miguna will not become the Deputy Governor of Nairobi. Take that to the bank.”

This is not over by a mile but we might just witness another “Kenyan handshake” that might smooth things over for Mr. Miguna.

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