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Why Orengo, Wanjigi were blocked from boarding flight – Immigration boss

The government has spoken out on an incident where Siaya Senator James Orengo and Nairobi businessman Jimi Wanjigi were stopped from boarding a flight to Zimbabwe on Monday night.

Immigration Director Gordon Kihalangwa, in a statement, said the duo’s passports had been suspended before they showed up at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and that the suspension was still if force.

“We learnt through the media that the court had granted orders that the Department of Immigration should not interfere with the movement/travel of the two. Neither the director of immigration services nor the department was served with such orders as is required by law,” said Dr Kihalangwa.

He added that when Mr Orengo and Mr Wanjigi were asked to avail copies of the court orders, they had none.

PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO
PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO

“Instead they showed some writings in their phones purporting to be court orders. The two could therefore not be allowed to proceed with their journey until copies of the said orders were availed,” the director added.

Dr Kihalangwa said the depart will always comply with court orders upon being served “in the prescribed manner as required by law”.

There was a standoff at the JKIA on Monday when the two attempted to board a flight to Zimbabwe to attend the burial of late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Nasa leader Raila Odinga is already in Zimbabwe.

Mr Orengo and Mr Wanjigi are among members of Nasa who were affected by the government’s crackdown against opposition leaders who played a role in the ‘swearing in’ of Mr Odinga as the people’s president last month.