There has been discomfort in the Executive with the manner in which judges have been issuing orders against ministries and agencies, with the unease going back to the time Opposition MPs secured orders to have their security and firearm licences returned.
On the Miguna case, said Dr Matiang’i, none of the orders issued by the High Court last week have been served on Interior ministry officials. When Mr Miguna’s lawyers were prevented by police officers from serving officials with the orders at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last week, they pasted them on a door and left.
The Cabinet Secretary lamented that the security sector has suffered the most from “one-sided decisions” by judges.
Apart from the orders on Mr Miguna, he cited the various orders secured by slot machine operators across the country that have made it difficult to clamp down on the betting industry. Dr Matiang’i wondered why the orders are issued to stop County Commissioners and other field officers rather than the Principal Secretary.
The ministry has also criticised the orders by the High Court for the restoration of firearm licences for some MPs.
“We respect the Judiciary and we’ll respect court orders. All we are asking is that, as we respect the checks, we respect the balances as well. Judicial overreach is going beyond the checks and balances,” said Dr Matiang’i.
A majority of the committee’s members said the issue at the ministry appeared to have been an inability to communicate its side of the story as the drama at the airport escalated over the past week. Committee chairman Paul Koinange (Kiambaa, Jubilee) said Mr Miguna’s lawyers, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and, possibly, Mr Miguna, would also be invited to give their sides of the story.
The ministry has insisted that there is no way it could produce the self-declared general of the National Resistance Movement in court as he was not in their custody and had not entered Kenya after refusing to hand in his passport for stamping. Mr Miguna also tore up the forms provided to regularise his citizenship and refused the assistance of three consular officers from the Canadian High Commission in Kenya.
Dr Matiang’i said the basis for cancelling Mr Miguna’s passport was that it was issued irregularly when the late Otieno Kajwang’ was minister for Immigration and the lawyer an adviser in the Office of the then Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
He offered to submit the file to the committee to prove the fraud committed in issuing the passport.
The government realised Mr Miguna did not have a valid passport when he applied to renew his Canadian one 10 days to the next election, said Dr Matiang’i, and upon checking their records, found that he had a Kenyan one acquired irregularly.
The Cabinet Secretary said he did not know whether Mr Miguna was drugged before he was taken to Dubai last Friday. He said the lawyer was “removed from the airside at JKIA” but not deported as he has been saying.
Asked about the assault on journalists at the airport, the minister said the Independent Policing Oversight Authority is investigating the matter but insisted they should not have been filming at the immigration area.
Mr Kihalang’wa revealed that Mr Miguna would also have to regularise his identity card when he gets back into the country, but only after he regularises his passport.
He said the impression created, in photos taken by Kenya National Commission on Human Rights official Kamanda Mucheke, that Mr Miguna had been held in a toilet at the airport was false.
“That is a self-contained room with a bed, mattress and bedding,” said Gen Kihalang’wa.