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Miguna’s second coming: Here are the expected scenarios

By Hillary Orinde | May 16th 2018 | 3 min read
Politician Miguna makes a point during the Nairobi governorship debate: after deportation on March 28, he is expected back in Kenya in a matter of hours. [ File, Standard]

Controversial lawyer-politician Miguna Miguna is set to arrive at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) tomorrow May 16 against the wishes of the government which has deported him twice in the past three months.

Here are the likely scenarios should the outspoken politician show up at the airport.

Tourist Miguna

The government could decide it has had enough headache from the politician and let him in on the strength of his Canadian papers. The idea would be to pounce hard on the tourist once he starts dabbling in politics, something Miguna could certainly do immediately the Immigration Desk stamps his passport.

The eventuality all-too-familiar would be the politician being arrested and being bundled into another flight amid a flurry of ignored court orders.

You are not disembarking

A tricky one but General Service Unit toughies could be under strict instructions not to allow him on to the Kenyan soil in which case he could be arrested once he steps on the wind-swept Embakasi tarmac and held pending the next course of action. This could possibly violate international aviation rules

One International Air Transport Association (IATA) rules dictates that the aircraft operator is responsible for the custody and care of disembarking passengers until they are accepted for examination to determine their suitability to enter into a country.

But on the other hand, the IATA require of states to without delay “notify the aircraft operator it is flying a passenger the state deems as inadmissible person”.

Bring it on, we are ready

The guys in power could call his bluff, allow him in and unleash a crippling political counterstrike against his moves. Seeing himself as the de facto leader of the post-election National Resistance Movement (NRM) that was supposed to force electoral reform through economic boycotts of selected products and other forms of civil disobedience, Miguna could re-kindle the unrest that characterised Kenya prior to the Uhuru-Raila deal.

The current thinking is that the March 9 Raila-Uhuru handshake and the subsequent rapprochement has effectively diluted opposition politics to near-irrelevance; that Miguna might not be in a position to command the critical mass needed to shake the Uhuru-Raila bloc.

When the latest saga started

On April 5, Miguna Miguna announced on Twitter that he would return to Kenya on Wednesday 16 after his recent deportation.

On that day the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) also wrote to Immigration PS retired Major General Gordon Kihalangwa asking the state to comply with court orders and facilitate Miguna’s return.

In the letter, the rights body asked Maj-Gen Kihalangwa to issue Miguna with a valid Kenyan passport, buy him an air ticket from Canada and allow KNCHR to oversee Miguna’s clearance at the airport.

“Without any prejudice, we reiterate that Miguna has to regain his Kenyan citizenship before being issued with a Kenyan passport,” Kihalangwa replied five days later on May 10.

Maj-Gen Kihalangwa declined their request, saying Miguna had not applied for one. He further maintained that they should not expect any special treatment if he returns on his Canadian passport.

KNCHR vice chairperson George Morara has however, contested the Government’s stance.

Speaking to KTN’s Akisa Wandera on April 14, Morara accused Maj-Gen Kihalangwa of double standards while flagrantly disregarding orders.

“PS Kihalangwa is asking Miguna to follow the law, when the Ministry has broken every single piece of law that has been regulating the whole issue of Miguna’s citizenship,” he said.

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