Dec 9, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Let Miguna Miguna return home, African lawyers and judges ask Kenya

In a statement sent to editors on Saturday, the Africa Jurists and Judges Forum (AJJF) said it had learned that Mr Miguna intended to return to the country accompanied by former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. AJJF warned the government not to block the attorney’s entry into the country.

The Johannesburg, South Africa-based forum said the government’s previous behavior, including issuing red warnings, was against a number of European airlines preventing them from flying Mr. Miguna into the country bordered on impunity and disregard of the law.

Frustrate citizens

The lawyers said these actions along with others who had orders issued by the courts disregarded were not only discriminatory but also a sign of the government’s willingness to frustrate its citizens, including banning Mr Miguna from returning to Kenya, a country where he is a native citizen.

“AJJF urges the Kenyan government to respect Mr. Miguna Miguna’s right of return. Keeping Mr Miguna out of the country has been carried out in blatant disregard for court rulings preventing his arrest, detention and deportation.

“The Kenyan government is undermining the independence of the courts by ignoring court rulings, which calls into question theirs Authority and legitimacy and threaten the rule of law, “said the judges.

The AJJF statement follows on from Dr. Mutunga announced earlier this week that he would travel to Canada to see Mr. Miguna back in the

Dr. Mutunga, who previously accused the government of disobeying court orders, said last Wednesday his decision was a protest march against the government, which he accused of violating Mr Miguna’s rights as a citizen of the country.

The retired CJ also accused the state of kidnapping and torturing Mr Miguna at his Nairobi home prior to his deportation in 2018. He added that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime had ignored several court orders to bring the lawyer back.

Read: Miguna Sues Lufthansa and Air France for Failed Return to Kenya

” I took this extraordinary step for two basic reasons. The first is due to the continued, blatant and reprehensible opposition by the Kenyan government, its authorities and senior officials to the numerous valid court orders in favor of Mr Miguna, ”said Dr. Mutunga in a statement released during the Mashujaa Day celebrations.

“The second reason I chose this trip is to support and defend the independence of our judiciary, its authority and independence of people’s trust in them, “he added.

AJJF urged the Kenyan government to respect all court orders regarding the return of Mr Miguna.

Sedated

Mr Miguna, who practiced as a lawyer after vigilante justice in Canada – imposed exile in the 1990s, was first deported in February 2018 after taking part in the mock swearing-in of ODM leader Raila Odinga in 2018 .

The attorney then accused the government of raiding and destroying his home in Runda before being sedated and deported to Canada.

Attempts by some of his attorneys, including the Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi at trying to secure his return has proven pointless over the years as the government insisted that Mr Miguna had revoked his Kenyan citizenship in an effort to obtain Canadian citizenship.

But dr. Mutunga and a number of other lawyers, including Mr Miguna, insist that he remain a Kenyan citizen from birth, a right the government cannot take away from him.

“Miguna is Kenyan. born citizen who has never lost his Kenyan citizenship. The court overturned Mr. Miguna’s citizenship and passport, stating that his arrest, detention, torture and deportation from Kenya were illegal, unconstitutional and a gross violation of his rights, “said Dr. Mutunga.