Kenya court enables return of deported opposition firebrand

Kenya’s High Court on Monday ordered immigration authorities to allow an outspoken member of the opposition alliance to return to the country, after his deportation earlier this month.

Miguna Miguna, a firebrand member of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, was forced onto an international flight to Canada nearly three weeks ago.

His deportation came after he was arrested for treason for taking part in the mock swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who insists he is the rightful victor of last year’s elections.

The interior ministry said Miguna had “denounced” his Kenyan citizenship after obtaining Canadian citizenship several years ago.

High Court judge Chacha Mwita ordered the immigration department to issue Miguna “with a travel document to enable him to re-enter and remain in Kenya pending the determination and hearing of his petition” to defend his citizenship.

“In default the petitioner shall be at liberty to use his Canadian passport to re-enter and remain in Kenya,” he said.

Holding dual citizenship is legal in Kenya, and in August, Miguna ran for political office, with proof of Kenyan citizenship a key criteria for all candidates.

Miguna holds no elected office, but has styled himself “general” of the opposition’s “National Resistance Movement” (NRM) wing, in charge of implementing a threatened programme of civil disobedience and boycotts.

Following Odinga’s pretend inauguration, Kenya’s government designated the NRM as an “organised criminal group”.

However Mwita on Monday also suspended this decision.

Miguna’s enforced exile was yet another twist in the long saga of Kenya’s disputed elections which saw the Supreme Court annul the result of the initial August poll and Odinga boycott the October rerun, handing victory to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

A Human Rights Watch statement released Monday said 104 people had died at the hands of police and armed gangs during the protracted election.

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