Matiang’i, Boinett and Kihalangwa pleads with Appeal Court to spare their jobs

From left Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, Interior CS Fred Matiangi and Immigration PS Gordon Kihalangwa when they appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security at Continental House, Nairobi. [Photo by Boniface Okendo/Standard]

The Interior Cabinet secretary has asked the Court of Appeal to save his job.

“The decision has exposed me to unwarranted stigma and public ridicule, thus affecting my ability to discharge duties effectively,” said Fred Matiang’i in an affidavit to challenge his conviction and that of two other Government officials for contempt of court.

Last week, Justice George Odunga convicted Dr Matiang’i, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, and Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa of refusing to produce lawyer Miguna Miguna in court and failing to honour court summons. He found the three guilty of contempt and fined them Sh200, 000 each.

They are appealing the conviction, arguing that they risked being declared unfit to hold public office.

The appeal was filed through Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto, who submitted that the High Court decision had eroded public confidence in their capabilities to hold office.

Fair hearing

Mr Ogeto argued that should the punishment be enforced, the three officials would not have been given a fair hearing and a chance to defend themselves, as required in law.

“Justice Odunga made the decision in the absence of any formal application, without any evidence presented before him, and without giving them an opportunity to defend themselves,” said Ogeto.

In his affidavit, Matiang’i denied being served with the orders leading to his conviction. The CS accused Justice Odunga of treating him unfairly.

“It was not proper for the judge to summon us to appear in court within one-and-a-half hours and purport to have given us sufficient time to show cause why he should not convict us,” said the CS.

In his affidavit, Mr Boinnet denied being involved in Miguna’s deportation, stating that his officers only provided support to immigration officers who were in charge of the process.

He also denied being served with orders to produce Miguna in court and said he could not obey the summons because he was attending a GSU passing out parade.

Mr Kihalangwa, on his part, accused Miguna’s lawyers of misleading the court, stating that he did his best to help Miguna regularise his citizenship.

The three want the Court of Appeal to suspend Justice Odunga’s decision until their appeal is determined.