Former Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has condemned the treatment, deportation and re-deportation of lawyer Miguna Miguna.
Arguing that the matter should have been ended when a court ordered he was Kenyan and that he had not lost his citizenship, Dr Mutunga said Dr Miguna’s treatment was inhumane and unconstitutional.
“It is nauseating. It is very painful,” said Dr Mutunga in an interview with former anti-corruption czar John Githongo.
“Everybody knows that he was born here, he went to university, was expelled…, went to Canada, and made a life there. This thing that you lose citizenship is not there. These debates are irrelevant.”
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet, and Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa have been found guilty of contempt of court in the Dr Miguna deportation saga, and have been fined Sh200, 000 each.
Dr Miguna was ejected from Kenya and bundled into a Dubai-bound flight on March 29.
It was the second time the fiery lawyer was being denied entry into his country of birth after he was pushed out on February 6 following five days of being held incommunicado in different police stations.
He was accused of treason for his role in commissioning the mock swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the “people’s president.”
“These things have really traumatised me,” Dr Mutunga said.
“It reminds me of those times when people would mysteriously disappear or police would come for you before your wife and children and hold you incommunicado. You would not know what would happen. This is exactly how the Nyayo chambers were about.”
The former chief justice said the worst of the conviction of the three for contempt of court was yet to come.
“These people do not know how the court convictions are going to harm those individuals,” Dr Mutunga said.
“Soon someone will go to court and say these are convicts, they are State officers and, therefore, they are not suitable to hold office.”
He dismissed the defence by the trio that they had not been served, saying that court orders can be served “based on your knowledge.”
“If you are reading the papers and you are watching the news, then you are aware that the court wants you,” he said.
“In any case, who is going to serve Matiang’i? It is like that case of Kenneth Matiba asked to serve (former president Daniel Toroitich arap) Moi. It can’t happen!”
The former CJ said that the Judiciary now had the biggest role to defend the Constitution.
“The Judiciary is at a crossroads. They either uphold the Constitution but protect all of us from what is emerging to be a dictatorship. It should be the temple of justice where these people being oppressed run,” he said.
“It cannot be what it was in the Moi and Jomo Kenyatta dictatorships. When they are making orders about Miguna, they are not doing it because they are courageous. They are doing it because it is what the Constitution they swore to protect says.”