Kenyan govt attempts to deport Kenyan politician again

iStock [www.istockphoto.com]

Kenyan authorities want to deport an opposition politician again despite court orders that he should be allowed into the country, a human rights official said early on Tuesday.

The politician, Miguna Miguna, had been deported to Canada as part of a government crackdown on opposition politicians who participated in the mock January 30 inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga as a protest to the disputed re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. A Kenyan court ordered that Miguna's Kenyan passport be restored and that he be given safe passage into the country.

The court also ordered the government-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights oversee Miguna's return, said Senator James Orengo , who was among lawyers representing Miguna.

Kamanda Mucheke, an official with the rights body, said that Miguna flew home on Monday afternoon but was denied entry. The politician then staged a protest and police cordoned off an area in the international terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the official said.

Mucheke said that eventually about 50 officers in plainclothes grabbed Miguna and hustled him off to an Emirates airline flight bound for Dubai. Video showed a group pushing Miguna onto the plane and his suit was torn.

"You cannot take me from country by force. ... You cannot 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 of one of the airline's crew members.

Mucheke said the flight left without Miguna after the politician caused a commotion on the plane.

Earlier, before police took Miguna to the Emirates jetliner, the politician had told a reporter through a glass door: "Even bullets won't stop me."

The rights official said that up to 100 police officers beat up journalists and opposition supporters during the confrontation.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

Miguna supported Odinga's campaign to discredit the president's re-election. Odinga argued that Kenyatta lacked legitimacy because his initial August 8 re-election victory was nullified by the Supreme Court over "irregularities and illegalities" in the election and the repeat ballot had a low turnout. Odinga boycotted the second election, citing lack of electoral reforms.

Miguna was at Odinga's side when the opposition leader took an oath as the "people's president" at the mock inauguration. The government responded to that event by arresting opposition politicians and shutting down TV stations that broadcast the event.

Ninety-two people were killed during protests over Kenyatta's election and there had been fears of further violence. 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.

Human rights groups and media have accused Kenyatta's government of infringing on freedoms and attacking watchdog institutions.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 7280 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 2127 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 8782 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.51
(-0.5)
GBP/ZAR
19.95
(-0.4)
EUR/ZAR
17.33
(-0.2)
AUD/ZAR
11.09
(-0.2)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(-0.2)
Gold
1,745.56
(+0.7)
Silver
25.35
(+2.1)
Platinum
1,160.50
(-1.2)
Brent Crude
63.28
(+0.5)
Palladium
2,697.50
(+0.7)
All Share
67,073
(+1.0)
Top 40
61,383
(+1.2)
Financial 15
12,155
(+0.1)
Industrial 25
87,974
(+1.6)
Resource 10
67,823
(+1.0)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo