A Kenyan opposition lawyer charged with treason over the symbolic presidential “swearing in” of opposition leader Raila Odinga has left the country, a government agency said, while his lawyer said he had been deported.
Miguna Miguna was arrested and later granted bail of 50,000 Kenyan shillings ($500) but had remained in police custody with his whereabouts unknown until he appeared in court in Kajiado County, neighbouring Nairobi, on Tuesday to hear the charges.
Self-declared National Resistance Movement (NRM) General Miguna Miguna was arrested on Friday morning, shortly after he raised the alarm on a police raid at his home.
Miguna refused to enter a plea, saying his case should be heard in a court in Nairobi. On Tuesday, High Court judge Luka Kimaru ordered that all proceedings against Miguna be stopped until police brought him to a Nairobi court, as ordered, on Wednesday.
Police boss, DCI George Kinoti confirmed that he was arrested for administering an illegal oath and being a member of NRM, a proscribed organisation. Miguna’s lawyer, Nelson Havi, said Miguna had been deported and questioned the move since he also holds Kenyan citizenship. Miguna Miguna.
“He (Mr Miguna) publicly declared that he is the general of NRM, which is already declared a proscribed group. By the time he declared publicly, there was a gazette notice by the minister. How can we let it go? We are law enforcers,” said Mr Kinoti.
“He also said he is going to lead people to burn portraits of a democratically elected president. Then what do you expect from us?
“He also confessed he is the one who administered the oath,” the DCI boss added.
Police sources confirmed that Mr Miguna was taken to Kiambu Police Station, but later driven off to an unknown destination.
Mr Miguna had earlier alerted a Nation editor that police had stormed his home early morning and ransacked it.
The feisty lawyer, who played a key role in the ‘swearing in’ of Nasa leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, confirmed the raid in a text message at 7.15am Friday.
“The police have bombed their way into my house. I can’t speak on the phone right now. They have ransacked the house!!” he said.
“Some are still hiding in the compound and my house hoping that I make a move so that they can shoot me and claim that there was a ‘shootout!’ I’m staying put!”
When the Nation arrived at the home, it was calm and there was little activity going on. But two officers stationed at the gate kept reporters out of the compound.
Neighbours said several cars were at Mr Miguna’s residence at 6am, but the vehicles later left.
Police arrived when reporters were outside the home. Mr Miguna’s supporters had also started gathering outside the home, and about five minutes later police fired teargas to disperse them.
The supporters ran and watched from a distance as police cars sped off from the compound with their sirens blaring.
The supporters faulted police for arresting Mr Miguna and said he was not in the wrong.After the officers left the home, reporters were able to get it. There was no sign of Mr Miguna and no one else was in the home.
Miguna ran for elected office in 2017, which would have required that he have Kenyan citizenship. Miguna Miguna, right, attended a mock ‘swearing-in’ ceremony for opposition leader Raila Odinga at Uhuru Park in Nairobi at the end of January.
By Eric Wainana
Additional reporting by Public Agenda staff