Kenya deports Miguna Miguna over Odinga ‘swearing-in’
Kenya has deported opposition supporter and lawyer, Miguna Miguna, following his role in the unofficial swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga as “the people’s president”.
Mr Miguna has boarded a flight to take him to Canada, where he is a citizen.
His departure came after he was charged with treason-related offences.
Kenya’s Chief Justice David Maraga has criticised the government for not following court orders to release Mr Miguna on bail.
“Compliance with court orders is not optional, but a constitutional obligation,” Mr Maraga said in an unprecedented statement.
The government had earlier ignored court demands to lift a suspension on Kenyan TV channels, which it took off-air ahead of Mr Odinga’s “inauguration.”
Mr Odinga boycotted last year’s election re-run, saying it would be rigged in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He and his supporters consider him the rightful leader of Kenya.
What was the ‘swearing-in’ about?
In August, Mr Odinga ran for president against Mr Kenyatta.
He lost, but the country’s Supreme Court said the election wasn’t transparent, prompting a re-run in October.
Mr Odinga declined to enter this race, saying nothing had changed, and Mr Kenyatta won 98% of the vote, with only 39% turnout.
But after letting Mr Kenyatta govern for two months, he held his unofficial swearing-in ceremony at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on 30 January.
During an oath signed and conducted by Mr Miguna, Mr Odinga declared himself “the people’s president”.
How did the government respond?
In a word, badly.
President Kenyatta took three TV channels off air, with only two resuming broadcasting this week – and only on subscription services, not free-to-air.
On 31 January, police arrested TJ Kajwang, a lawyer who witnessed the ceremony.
Two days later, they broke down Mr Miguna’s door in a dawn raid and also detained him.
Mr Miguna says he was then kept “in unlawful incommunicado detention for five days under the most horrendous, cruel and inhumane conditions imaginable”.
On Tuesday, he appeared before a court outside Nairobi and was charged with “being present and consenting to the administration of an oath to commit a capital offence, namely treason”.