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Orengo, Wanjigi leave for Zimbabwe after Monday airport drama

Orengo and Wanjigi in the plane cabin on receiving clearance from immigration officials to fly out of the country/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – Siaya Senator James Orengo and Businessman Jimi Wanjigi were allowed to travel to Zimbabwe on Tuesday after they were initially barred from leaving on Monday night.

The two left at about 1pm to join NASA leader Raila Odinga for the burial of Zimbabwe’s late Opposition leader, the late Morgan Tsvangirai.

“None of us has been charged in any court of law and no one has told us that we are guilty of any transgressions,” Orengo told journalists at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The Immigration Department has since explained that the two were barred because their passports remain suspended until they provided a court order reversing the decision.

“For my part, I feel really offended because I’m a State officer, a Member of Parliament, a leader in Parliament, an independent institution and if the Executive can deal with me this way, it means the authority and dignity of Parliament is completely emasculated,” he fired.

Wanjigi, on the other hand, took the opportunity to slam the government saying they have turned into ‘constitutional delinquents’ who have deep apathy for the rule of law.

“Constitutional delinquents are now running this country. They have abrogated the rule of law,” he fired.

He wondered why they were being treated better than colonialists treated the founding fathers even when they travelled to the Soviet Union.

“It’s a very sad day because I’ve never experienced such a thing before.  It’s horrible to imagine what other Kenyans might be facing.”

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Their lawyer Willis Otieno said he presented copies of the court orders lifting the suspension of his clients’ passports and vowed to sue individual State officers, saying “public officers who try to hide behind officialdom to abrogate the constitution to disobey court orders must now start taking personal liability for all those actions”.

“And that in our view is what we are considering as the legal team to take up against the officers at the Immigration Department and even the officers at the airport who were part and parcel of this abrogation of rights of our clients,” he vowed.

The Director of Immigration Services Gordon Kihalangwa said Orengo and Wanjigi were blocked from flying to Zimbabwe Monday night because he had not been served with a court order reversing the revocation of their passports.


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