, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa, and National Police Service Inspector General Joseph Boinnet have been fined Sh200,000 each for contempt of court.
Delivering the verdict on Thursday, Justice George Odunga found the three to have disdained court orders requiring them to produce deported political activist Miguna Miguna in court and further declined to honour summonses issued against them.
The fines according to Justice Odunga will be deducted in April salaries of the respondents.
The judge, however, declined the invitation to punish the trio for up to six separate acts of contempt saying other cases of contempt had not been brought before his court.
“Whereas it was submitted that there are several acts of contempt committed by the respondents which ought to carry separate penalties, the matter before me concerns contempt committed by the respondents yesterday (Wednesday),” the High Court judge explained.
“If there’re other acts of contempt, the petitioner is at liberty to pursue the same,” said the judge.
Justice Odunga also found Matiangi, Kihalangwa, and Boinnet to have violated Article 10 of the Constitution on leadership and integrity.
“The respondents have violated Article 10 of the Constitution by failing to adhere to the rule of law in the sense that they have disobeyed the orders of this court,” Justice Odunga found.
“It is not however appropriate in these proceedings to declare them unsuitable to hold public offices. That is a matter for another forum,” he stated.
“Similarly, the petitioner or any other Kenyan is at liberty to take any other or further action pursuant to the orders of this court,” Justice Odunga noted.
Matiangi, Kihalangwa, and Boinnet had failed to show up in court even after Justice Odunga adjourned the court on Thursday morning to allow them time to appear in the afternoon.
State Counsel Japheth Mutinda had told the court on Thursday morning that he was unable to reach Matiangi and Kihalangwa adding that officers at Harambee House had reported that they were not in their offices.
The Thursday hearing followed a contempt conviction placed on the three on Wednesday when they failed to honour summonses issued by Justice Roselyn Aburili on Tuesday directing them to appear before a duty judge on Thursday.
They had also been directed to release Miguna and produce him in court on Wednesday, an order that the Stated said could not be implemented.
Miguna was deported via a Dubai flight on Wednesday night after spending three days at a holding area at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where he had been detained since his arrival in the country at 2:30 pm on Monday.
Airport authorities had asked the fiery lawyer to produce his Canadian passport for processing but he declined. He insisted to be granted entry as a Kenyan citizen.
The self-proclaimed General of the National Resistance Movement now renamed National Revolutionary Movement had insisted that he could not apply for a temporary visa.
The Immigration Department on Tuesday unsuccessfully tried to persuade Miguna to fill forms so that his Kenyan citizenship could be regularized but Miguna rejected.
According to the Interior ministry, Miguna is deemed to have lost his Kenyan citizenship when he acquired Canadian citizenship when the old constitution prohibited the same.
The ministry stated that for Miguna to regain his lost citizenship, he would have to tender a formal request for the same so that he could duly be recognized as a dual citizen under the 2010 Constitution.
In Dubai, Miguna declined to proceed to board a London flight insisting that he could only board a flight back to Nairobi.
He also accused the State of using sedatives on him further stating that he was unwell.
He was consequently granted access to a doctor at the Dubai International Airport where he underwent a medical examination.
Miguna, however, said he needed his Kenyan passport so that he could exit the airport for further medication.
“I have severe pain on the left side of my chest, my left wrist, my right elbow and my feet,” he said on Thursday adding that he could have been injected “noxious substances.”
In his ruling on Thursday, Justice Odunga said an order requiring the State to produce Miguna in court was still valid.