In Summary
  • Jubilee Party Vice Chairman David Murathe claimed that Dr Miguna was standing in the way of the government’s plan to rollout its development agenda.
  • Gordon Kihalangwa has issued threats of withdrawal of passports of 16 opposition MPs.

Before last week’s dramatic deportation of self declared general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Dr Miguna Miguna to Canada, there was a vocal Mombasa politician Ahmed Bamahriz who, when threatened with deportation by retired President Daniel arap Moi, retorted that Moi too should be dispatched to the country of Sudan.

“Iwapo kweli mababu zangu wana asilia ya Yemen, basi tuandamane na Rais Moi kwenye ndege ile ile mtakayonisafirisha, ili Moi ashukishwe kwanza kwao nchini Sudan (If it is indeed true that my roots are in Yemen, then put me on the same flight back home with President Moi so we drop him home first in Sudan),” Bamahriz, founder member of the Forum for Restoration of Democracy (Ford) in 1992, reacted.     

Five years later, ahead of the 1997 elections, the Moi government stripped another Mombasa opposition politician and preacher, Sheikh Balala, of his Kenyan citizenship.

Curiously, the invalidation of Mr Balala’s passport was made while he was away in Germany.

In a public act of defiance, a fuming Balala flew all the way to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, only to be denied entry to his home country. He had to fly back to Germany.

The motive behind the government’s actions against Bamahriz, Balala and lately Miguna may have been disguised under other reasons, including threat to security, but ideally they were all persuaded by political considerations.

Same as Mr Miguna, who has emerged as the harshest critic of what he terms “Uhuru’s despotic regime”, Bamahriz and Balala were a thorn in the flesh of Moi’s Kanu regime in the 1990s.

Fluent in Swahili language, the duo moved crowds with their idioms and riddles to drive home anti-Moi sentiments.

Bamahriz, who alongside first Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, veteran politicians Masinde Muliro, Martin Shikuku, George Nthenge and businessman Philip Gachoka were Ford’s “leading lights”, worked up crowds at rallies, while Balala passed on his message from the pulpit and on the streets where he served as an Islamic preacher. 

Former political detainee Koigi wa Wamwere opines that successive regimes in Kenya have separately used the deportation card to deal with dissenting voices.

To effectively execute this ploy, the former Subukia MP observes that government critics are branded as “foreigners”.

Although, for instance, the government explained through spokesperson of Interior Ministry Mwenda Njoka that Miguna had been deported to his “home country” of Canada after renouncing his Kenyan citizenship, many are of the contrary opinion.

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