The worst blunder President Uhuru made on Raila-Miguna affair

President Uhuru Kenyatta has technically shaped Miguna Miguna for the national politics.

Apparently, President Uhuru Kenyatta had an option of self-vindication of earlier accusation by the Opposition that the twin 2017 - August 8 and October 26 – ballots were corruptly done.

He chose to ignore, even the fact that Mr Odinga, who has been in the Kenyan politics for nearly five decades, boycotted the repeat polls.

The autocracy lane crippled in, way back in July when the polls agency official, Chris Msando was murdered in cold blood, to the recent gross violation of the fundamental right to access information after all crucial TV channels were shut.

Numerous court orders, notwithstanding, have been trashed, even after the Judiciary upheld President Kenyatta’s victory on October 26th.

The Head of State, in my view, had an option of ‘merely ignoring’ Mr Odinga’s protest, which, unfortunately, culminated into a swearing-in at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on January 30. The ongoing rare yet far-fetched crackdown on the Opposition leadership is a foul play to Kenya’s democratic gains.

Miguna Miguna's Deportation

This purely looks like a ploy to weaken Mr Odinga’s seemingly strong political base and support. The arrest, detention, charging with treason and eventual deportation of Miguna Miguna, was uncalled for.

Kenya’s Constitution 2010, in the words of local political analysts, ‘is clear’ in the sense that “a person who is a Kenyan citizen by birth and who has ceased to be a Kenyan citizen because the person acquired citizenship of another country, is entitled on application to regain Kenyan citizenship.”

The same Constitution 2010, with the same note, explains that a "citizen does not lose their nationality accrued at birth after they apply for the citizenship of another country.” This is the dilemma that should hit Mr Kenyatta’s legal advisor team, even as the nation mutts on the way forward, after the ‘swearing-in’ of Mr Odinga.

Pending major police reforms, which has been in the recent past through various reports, including that of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu and Kenya Commission on Human Rights (KCHR), among others, have pointed accusing fingers at police for use of excessive force on Opposition supporters.

They have been turned into puppets, who, apart from ignoring court orders like the Executive has done before, are used for silencing the Opposition.

Babu Owino, George Aladwa and Miguna Miguna, would be best placed to tell the tales after spending time behind bars in the hands of police officers.

Call for action

Last week’s statement from the United States castigating the quickly fading freedom of the press in Kenya should serve as a distress call.

It is a reminiscence of anarchy, should the State, in its capacity, fail, for example, to implement court orders, such as simply switching on the TV stations which were shut for airing a live event in which Mr Odinga was taking the presidential oath.

The media was earlier warned to keep off the event, in what seems a bed game between State House in Nairobi and the media. So far, only two media houses have had their signals reinstated.

While the US insists on having a “national conversation to build cohesion and address long-standing issues,” such talks must be guided by law, so that even as the US “firmly stands with Kenyan people” as ambassador Robert Godec puts it, it is only Kenyans of good will who can find a way to resolve their differences and chart the destiny of this great country.

In equal measure, it is time for the African Union (AU), East African Community (EAC) and all statutory bodies, which Kenya is a signatory, to act in the swiftest way possible. This is yet another phase of post-election, which the Elections Observers should delve into.


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