NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5- Kenya Film Classification Board Chief Executive Ezekiel Mutua now says he will surrender his diplomatic passport on arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Wednesday afternoon, following an order by Director of Immigration Retired Major General Gordon Kihalangwa.
Mutua, through a statement said he will fully comply with the directive but insists he had not contravened any law since the passport was legally issued to him.
“Following extensive consultations on this matter, and having been informed of a formal request sent to my office by the Director of Immigration Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa while I was away in the US, I wish to announce that I will voluntarily surrender the said diplomatic passport on arrival at JKIA at 3pm this afternoon. As a law-abiding citizen and senior official in the Government I will fully comply with the request as I do not wish to have this issue become a distraction to my work,” it reads.
“However, I wish to reiterate the fact that the passport was legally issued to me and that I had not contravened any law in respect to its acquisition and usage. I remain grateful to the Government for entrusting me with this privilege for the time it lasted. I will continue to execute my duties with as much zeal and passion with an ordinary passport.”
His earlier protest against the directive, he says was informed by the fact, “that I had not received any formal communication on the issue by then save for the reports in the media. Now that a formal request has been done in line with the law, I will gladly oblige and voluntarily surrender the said document to the Immigration Desk at the JKIA.”
The controversial official, who was on a trip to the US had earlier indicated that he would challenge the move while questioning the manner in which the Immigration Department sent the directive.
His woes started after he posted the passport on Facebook while telling the public he had been issued with a US visa despite his stand on gay rights.
The move led to public outcry over his firm remarks against the LGBT group, which is largely accepted in the US.
“Because of my stand on moral values, including the banning of content promoting LGBT and Atheists culture in Kenya, someone wrote in a local daily that I will never get visa to the US,” reads the post.
“Well, I not only got it but it came on a Diplomatic Passport and I didn’t even have to go to the Embassy for biometrics or pay the visa application fee. America here we come… TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”
He got the passport in February 2013, when he was working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to the Immigration Department.