Deported Kenya opposition leader in airport fracas

29 March, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Miguna Miguna. FILE

Miguna, a dual citizen of Kenya and Canada, arrived at the airport after a six-week stay in Canada where he had been deported on February 6, 2018 after his arrest for his role in the January 30 controversial swearing-in of National Super Alliance opposition leader Raila Odinga, as the People's President.

On Tuesday afternoon a Kenyan court ordered that Miguna be released immediately and that he present himself in court on Wednesday.

The high court ruling, and the deportation in defiance of court orders, mark a significant escalation in a tussle between the judiciary and the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, which opposition leaders and other critics say fails to respect the authority of the courts in political matters.

"There was an attempt to force him onto the plane and he resisted justifiably", said Orengo, who said he witnessed Miguna being "terribly manhandled, pushed and dragged" by plainclothes officers at the airport. That failed when he protested.

Videos posted on social media purported to show Kenyan police shoving a defiant Miguna into the plane.

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While pointing a finger at the executive for contempt, Justice Odunga said obedience of court orders is a value of good governance within all State organs and that the directives are not subject to interpretation by any arm of government. "I have not eaten".

Live footage broadcast by private Kenyan TV station Citizen showed Miguna in the doorway of what appeared to be an Emirates plane shouting at a crew member: "I'm not going anywhere, you can not take me from my country by force". "You can not chase me from my country of birth because you have guns", Miguna said in the video, which appeared to have been taken with a mobile phone by an airline crew member.

Lawyer Japheth Mutinda, representing Kenya's attorney general, said Miguna could not appear in court in response to an earlier order because his entry into the country was still being processed.

Odinga has argued that Kenyatta lacked legitimacy because his initial August 8 re-election victory was nullified by the Supreme Court over "irregularities and illegalities". But in a surprise move two weeks ago, Odinga and Kenyatta met for the first time publicly and shook hands, saying they had started a new initiative to heal the country. Odinga boycotted the second election, citing lack of electoral reforms. The government responded by arresting opposition politicians.



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