Understanding the deportation process

By Brian Itava

A person with a foreign nationality found liable of deportation by the Kenyan government, cannot be deported to his country prior to a legal framework outlined in the Kenyan constitution. The key and final step involves the signing of the deportation request by the sitting Interior Security and national coordination Cabinet Secretary.

Deportation according to the Cambridge English dictionary, is the act of  forcing someone to leave a countryespecially someone who has no legal right to be there or who has broken the law.

From the incident of March 26 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) that involved the landing of the NRM self-declared General Miguna Miguna. We form the basis of this piece.

Miguna embarked on a journey from Toronto Canada destination Nairobi, Kenya via Amsterdam and Dubai. Dubai is the last point of call before his plane touched down at JKIA.

According to the laws governing the immigration department in most countries the world over, when a passenger reaches the airport with unsatisfactory or undocumented details, they will be held up at the airports airside for a verification process.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Immigration, Gordon Kihalangwa, Miguna was treated as a passenger on transit when he arrived at JKIA as he refused to hand in his passport to the authority for stamping.

“A journey at an international level can only be complete when the embankment point is known and by the time you are coming to your destination, that journey will be complete. In that case, the journey for Miguna was not complete because we did not know where he embarked from,” said Kihalangwa.

Being a passenger on transit, the police cannot arrest you as long as you remain in the airside region of the airport, where of course Miguna was as the Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi states.

“Until a passenger establishes himself or herself by going through the immigration section, they remain on the airside of the airport, and when they remain on the airside of the airport, they cannot be held in custody by police. Mr. Miguna was not arrested, which is a fact, he was not in the custody of the inspector general of the police,” Matiangi’ said.

When you fail to produce your documents after landing at an airport for the immigration clearance, you will not be allowed entry into that country. The immigration authority only have one choice, to send you back to the last point of call which is the second last airport from which you came and on the same airline.

“We were left with no choice but remove Mr. Miguna and as non-documented and unestablished passenger on transit to his last port of call…Mr Miguna was not deported; If he was deported, I would have had to sign a deportation order,” said Matiangi’ when he was summoned by Parliamentary Committee on Security on Tuesday.

Matiangi’ says that at Nairobi airport, there is a West African nationality who has been held for months after he had clearance issues at his country of birth where he had renounced his citizenship. The Immigration authorities in the West African country sent him back to Kenya, where was his last point of call.

Therefore, according to Matiang’I, Miguna Miguna was not deported but removed and sent back to his last point of call which was Dubai as he did not sign any deportation request or order from the court of law.


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