Family members of the self-proclaimed National Resistance Movement (NRM) “general” Miguna Miguna have reacted angrily to the government’s decision to deport him to Canada.
News of Mr Miguna deportation hit headlines on Tuesday night that he had been put on a KLM flight that left Nairobi for Amsterdam minutes to 10pm.
As news trickled in on Wednesday morning, tens of his family members and friends gathered at his backyard, Kanyilum village in Nyando, Kisumu County to discuss the government’s decision to deport their son.
In a meeting that was evidently filled with rage, the family members took time to rekindle their moments with him right from his childhood in a humble village to his present status as a prominent lawyer and politician.
They gathered under a tree in a homestead with rusty iron sheets and mud-walled houses.
One old man in grey beard held a cane between his legs and peered in the ground before he spat as though he was cursing something.
Mr Erick Odago, their spokesman and Miguna’s cousin, wore a light green shirt, jungle green pants and brown shoes, cross-legged on a green plastic chair.
Describing him as a forthright person, Mr Odago said that Miguna, who is the last born in a family of seven, grew up in a humble family after his father died before he was born.
He said the clan was incensed that their son has been deported after the government accused him of being in the country illegally and engaging in unlawful activities.
“He grew in a very poor family and turned to be a person who upholds truth. We are very proud his achievements,” said Odago.
Mr Jared Oyando, an uncle to Miguna, described him as very loving person adding that he brought them gifts the last time he visited. He said Miguna’s deportation has depressed them a lot.
“The last time he was here was last month. He is very caring because when he comes here, he spends most of his time with us and he has supported this family for a very long time. His deportation has really depressed us,” said Oyando.
Miguna’s kin also recounted his educational background that began at Apondo Primary School, Onjiko High School in Kisumu County and later on the University of Nairobi.
“We can’t understand how they call him a foreigner. He was born here, went to schools here and even studied at the Nairobi University,” Mr Odago told reporters.
Prior to his deportation, Mr Miguna had been held in police custody for five days and charged in court with being present and consenting to the administration of an oath to Nasa leader Raila Odinga a week ago at Uhuru Park.
Regarding his deportation, the Interior Ministry said Miguna denounced his citizenship a few years back.
But these claims have been refuted by Miguna’s relatives who say that if indeed he is not a Kenyan citizen then the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) would have barred him from vying for Nairobi governorship during the 2017 general elections.
“Miguna vied for Nairobi governorship in the last elections. For one to vie for that post, he must be a Kenyan citizen, the IEBC allowed him to vie because he was a Kenyan citizen and so those claims are baseless,” said Mr Oyando.
They also accused the government of intimidating Miguna and deporting him whereas he was only enjoying his constitutional right of dual citizenship.
“We requested the government not to treat Miguna as a Canadian only, we know Miguna has dual citizenship which is acceptable by law. He is enjoying his right of dual citizenship as per the constitution,’’ they said.
The government however has explained that Miguna was illegally issued with a Kenyan passport in 2009 and that its issuance by the Immigration ministry did not follow the requisite legal process.