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Judge to Miguna Miguna: Get valid travel documents before boarding flight

By Paul Ogemba | November 23rd 2021


Lady Justice Ong'udi Hedwig Imbosa [David Gichuru, Standard]

Lawyer Miguna Miguna can travel to Kenya if he acquires valid travel documents, the High Court has ruled.

Lady Justice Hedwig Ong’udi ruled that the Canada-based lawyer should present himself to the Kenyan High Commission in Canada or in an embassy wherever he is and apply for emergency travel documents.

The documents should be processed within 72 hours to allow him return to Kenya.

“Nobody has stopped him from travelling to Kenya, but let him obtain the required Kenyan travelling documents within 72 hours after which he should be allowed to board the next available flight,” ruled Ong’udi.

The judge ruled that Miguna, just like any other Kenyan must obey immigration rules to get required travelling documents and should not insist on being allowed to travel using his national identity card.

She stated that upon obtaining the emergency pass from any Kenyan high commission or embassy, he should be allowed to travel on any airline and only use his identity card for clearance at the immigration desk to enter the country.

Justice Ong’udi added that once Miguna is allowed entry, he should apply for a new Kenyan passport.

This was the second ruling in ten days in which Miguna sought to compel the government to allow him enter the country after being blocked from boarding a plane in Berlin, Germany.

Miguna had through lawyer John Khaminwa argued that he feared no airline will carry him following a red alert issued by the government in January 2020 stopping him from coming to Kenya.

But Justice Ong’udi on November 12 dismissed the application on grounds that Miguna had not provided evidence proving the existence of red alert issued to international airlines not to carry him.

Miguna had planned to travel to Kenya on November 16 but the airline he had booked denied him a boarding pass which prompted him to file the subsequent suit.

Justice Ong’udi in her ruling stated although Kenyan citizens do not require travelling visas to Kenya, they must comply with immigration laws which require them to possess valid travelling documents.

“The fact is that he does not have his passport and his argument that the national identity card is sufficient to allow him to enter is misguided.

“The law is uniform to all Kenyans and he must apply for the emergency travel document to be allowed to travel as a Kenyan,” ruled Ong’udi.

She added that Miguna would be free to travel using his Canadian passport but that he has not disclosed whether he complied with requirements of those coming to Kenya using foreign passports.

According to the judge, there was no evidence that Miguna had applied for a temporary travelling document or whether his Canadian passport had received the required endorsement as a dual citizen to enable him enter Kenya.

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