Kenya is headed for another political showdown in the short term as embattled opposition politician Miguna Miguna is set to return to the country next week and in the medium term as Raila Odinga insists on a referendum that has been opposed by deputy president William Ruto.
Miguna announced on his Twitter account on Saturday that he will return to Kenya on May 16, arguing that he has a right to a fair trial.
“I am returning to Kenya on May 16, 2018. I am a Kenyan citizen by birth. The High Court has ordered Fred Matiangi, Gordon Kihalangwa, Joseph Boinnet and Kinoti 13 times to issue me with a valid Kenyan passport and facilitate my return to Kenya as a Kenyan unconditionally,” read the tweet.
I am returning to Kenya on May 16, 2018. I am a Kenyan citizen by birth. The High Court has ordered Fred Matiangi, Gordon Kihalangwa, Joseph Boinnet and Kinoti 13 times to issue me with a valid Kenyan passport and facilitate my return to Kenya as a Kenyan unconditionally.
3) I AM RETURNING HOME ON MAY 16, 2018. I’m a revolutionary Pan-Africanist. I’m not an anarchist. But even anarchists have the right to be presumed innocent until found guilty by a court of law after a fair trial. #BringMigunaHome pic.twitter.com/Y0YU44T4WP— Dr. Miguna Miguna (@MigunaMiguna) May 5, 2018
The last time Miguna attempted to return to the country on the strength of court orders compelling the government to facilitate his return, he was denied entry and flown back to Dubai, from where he returned to Canada.
Miguna was deported from Kenya on February 6 after he was arrested, and held incommunicado for five days in different police stations.
He was accused of treason for his role in the mock inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the “people’s president.”
The Kenya National Human Rights Commission has thus written to the immigration department asking the government to issue Miguna with a valid Kenyan passport and buy him an air ticket from Toronto to Nairobi for his planned arrival on May 16.
In a letter written to the director of immigration, the rights body’s chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori also asks that government facilitates the human rights agency to monitor the vocal lawyer’s return.
“To enable the commission comply with the court directive, the commission urges your office to comply with the orders by issuing Miguna Miguna with a valid Kenyan passport, purchasing a flight ticket for Miguna from Toronto, Canada, to Nairobi,” said Mbogori in the letter dated May 5.
The commission gave the Department of Immigration until Thursday, May 10, to respond to their letter.
Raila Odinga, William Ruto on a collision course
Meanwhile, Odinga on Tuesday said a referendum on constitutional amendments is inevitable, following his unity and reconciliation deal with president Uhuru Kenyatta.
The opposition leader, who was addressing members of his party, Orange Democratic Movement, said a series of public events to reveal details of the unity deal would soon kick off.
“Addressing some of these issues may require changes to some of our laws and even amendments to the Constitution. When that time comes, we must be bold enough to pick up the challenge as a matter of duty to the nation,” Raila said.
However, the deputy president, William Ruto has in the past dismissed calls for a referendum, saying it would derail his party’s development agenda and prematurely return the country to politicking after a divisive and exhausting electioneering season.
Miguna has also criticised the calls for a referendum, saying previous electioneering actions have not solved deep rooted problems of tribalism, coruption and human rights abuses.
‘‘A referendum cannot solve a society’s intractable problems. It won’t eliminate tribalism, theft of public resources, extrajudicial killings, human rights abuses, disobedience of court orders, homelessness & joblessness. These will only be solved by visionary leaders of integrity.’‘
The builders of fake bridges have claimed that the time for politics is over and that they want to heal and reconcile us yet they are busy beating the political war drums calling for a referendum, which is actually an election that will DIVIDE Kenyans into YES and No camps.— Dr. Miguna Miguna (@MigunaMiguna) May 9, 2018
Odinga told his party members that he is willing to work with new and old allies in the opposition and in the government for the sake of cohesion.