Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Is Miguna Miguna a Kenyan citizen?

Is Miguna Miguna a Kenyan citizen? Kenyan citizenship law should be straight forward. Article 13 (2) states, 
Citizenship may be acquired by birth or registration.
Article 14 (1) states,
A person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a citizen.
And Article 14 (5) states,
A person who is a Kenyan citizen by birth and who, on the effective date, has ceased to be a Kenyan citizen because the person acquired citizenship of another country, is entitled on application to regain Kenyan citizenship.
Article 14 (5) contemplates a situation where a Kenyan citizen by birth who had ceased to be a citizen due to the acquisition of the citizenship of another country. Proof of citizenship is usually by way of a passport issued by that country's government. Mr Miguna possesses a Canadian passport, making him a Canadian citizen.

Section 97 (3) (a) of the former Constitution stated,
A citizen of Kenya shall, subject to subsection (7), cease to be such a citizen if ... having attained the age of twenty-one years, he acquires the citizenship of some country other than Kenya by voluntary act (other than marriage)...
Subsection (7) isn't germane for our purposes.

Mr Miguna's case is the aftermath of the swearing in of Raila Odinga as the People's President which Mr Miguna witnessed and commissioned (as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya) the document that declared Mr Odinga as the People's President. Members of the ruling party and senior officials of the national executive have declared that Mr Odinga's swearing in ceremony was an act of treason and that any person who participated in or witnessed the ceremony without doing anything to stop it was also complicit in that act of treason. Mr Miguna falls into that category of witnesses and participants who have riled up the members of the ruling party and senior officials of the national executive.

The treason charge is patently laughable and that is why no one has been charged with treason for participating or witnessing Mr Odinga's installation as the People's President. It is why Mr Miguna was arrested, detained and deported on immigration grounds and not for treason. During his weekend odyssey with officers of the National Police Service, the Cabinet Secretary, the Inspector-General and the Director of Immigration were all ordered to, variously, produce Mr Miguna before the High Court, restore his Kenyan passport to him, and hold off on deporting him until the court determined the matter. All orders were ignored. But the question of Mr Miguna's citizenship was never definitively settled.

Had the national executive obeyed the orders of the High Court, we would have been able to answer the following questions: how Mr Miguna lost his citizenship (or when he acquired Canadian citizenship); when Mr Miguna obtained his new Kenyan passport and how; when Mr Miguna obtained his national ID card and how; and whether or not he had committed any offences regarding his immigration and citizenship statuses.

So, I ask again, is Miguna Miguna a Kenyan citizen?

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