President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday hinted at a possibility of the government granting firebrand lawyer Miguna Miguna unconditional entry into his motherland, Kenya.
Speaking during the funeral service of Charles Rubia in Kandara Constituency, the President stated that Kenya is a free state and every citizen has freedom of speech that the country’s founding fathers and the likes of Rubia fought for.
Rubia, who was the first African mayor of Nairobi, together with the late Kenneth Matiba, led the calls for multi-party democracy and was subsequently detained by President Daniel Arap Moi for months. He died on December 23 at his Karen home aged 96.
President Kenyatta pointed out that he heard Miguna, a fierce critic of the Jubilee regime, is planning on flying home from Canada early next month, a move he says doesn’t bother him.
“Ata nasikia wengine wanatoka wanataka sasa kupanda ndege warudi waanze kusema waendeelee. Huo ndio uhuru wao, ” he said.
Loosely translated, “I’ve heard that some people [Miguna Miguna] is planning on returning to Kenya. He can come and say what he wants to say. That’s what freedom is all about.”
He, however, noted that people should use democracy and their freedoms to better the nation.
“Lakini ombi langu kwa hawa ambao wanatafuta huo uhuru ni tumieni huo uhuru kueneza amani na umoja kati ya wakenya, kupambana na vita dhidi ya ufisadi na kutafuta justice, ” he added.
“We can use the freedom and our young democracy to foster peace, fight corruption and injustice in our country.”
The self-styled revolutionary, who has in the past been deported to Canada twice announced recently, through his social media handles, that he will be jetting into the country on January 7, 2020. He has already booked a plane ticket.
Earlier, government Spokesperson Col. Cyrus Odhiambo Oguna stated that immigration officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport will be governed strictly by travel regulations when processing Miguna’s entry.
“All his travel papers must be right and valid,” Col. Oguna told Nairobi News.
“(Then) he will not be denied entry. All his papers must be right and valid as per the travel regulations. We are governed by the rule of law.”
Miguna was forced out of the country on February 7, 2018, after being in police custody for days following his arrest for presiding over former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s oath as the people’s president on January 30, 2018.
He was deported, for the second time, on March 29 after spending more than 72 hours in a tiny room at JKIA after authorities denied him entry into the country.
This is after he refused to produce his Canadian passport at JKIA.
He claimed that authorities wanted him to enter into the country as a foreigner after illegally damaging his Kenyan passport over claims that he renounced his Kenyan citizenship when he became a Canadian citizen.
In preparation for his entry, Miguna has called on his legal team, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to compel the state to obey court orders on his citizenship and issue him his Kenyan passport.
In a ruling delivered on December 14, 2018, Judge Enock Chacha Mwita noted that Miguna’s deportation was unlawful and in violation of the Constitution.
Justice Mwita further affirmed that the cancellation and the declaration that he was a prohibited immigrant were unconstitutional.
He dismissed the government’s narrative that Miguna is not a Kenyan citizen.
“I find and hold that he did not lose his citizenship upon acquiring a Canadian passport,“ Justice Mwita mentioned concerning his passport.
The High Court also awarded the lawyer Ksh7 million as compensation for the violation of his rights during his deportation to Canada.