Why Orengo, Wanjigi were blocked at JKIA

Why Orengo, Wanjigi were blocked at JKIA

The department of immigration says it had not been served with the court order cancelling the suspension of passports of seven National Super Alliance (Nasa) leaders.

Maj Gen (Rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa, the director of the department and a principal secretary nominee, on Tuesday said Siaya Senator James Orengo and businessman Jimi Wanjigi had also failed to present the order when they were blocked from travelling to Zimbabwe on Monday night.

“When the two arrived at the airport, they were requested to avail copies of the said court orders but they had none,” Dr Kihalangwa said in a statement sent to newsrooms.

“Instead, they showed some writings on their phones purporting to be court orders.”

Dr Kihalangwa said apart from the reports about the order in the media, neither he nor the department he heads had been served with the order.

He said the department would comply with court order but only upon being served in the manner prescribed in law.

“The two, Hon James Orengo and Mr Jimi Wanjigi, will be allowed to travel once such orders are served to the department,” he said.

Mr Orengo and Mr Wanjigi spent the night at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after they were blocked by immigration officers.

There was drama at airport as immigration officials blocked the two from flying to Zimbabwe where they were scheduled to attend the burial of the country’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

On Monday night, Senator Orengo said immigration officials at the airport confiscated Mr Wanjigi’s passport, apparently on orders from the director of immigration.

On Tuesday morning, he said he and Wanjigi spent the night at the airport.

They refused to leave without Mr Wanjigi’s passport.

Their flight to Zimbabwe was to leave JKIA at around 9.20pm Monday but missed it as they waited for Mr Wanjigi’s passport to be released to him.

Mr Orengo on Tuesday morning told reporters that he and Mr Wanjigi had booked another flight to Harare at 1.30pm.

He denied Dr Kihalangwa’s account, saying immigration officials were aware of the orders, and had been served on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

He was, however, still unsure whether they would be allowed to travel.

“We feel we have not only been inconvenienced, but this is humiliating and inhuman. And somebody must pay for it,” Mr Orengo, adding that they would sue Dr Kihalangwa and the immigration officials who confiscated the passport.

Mr Wanjigi vowed to fight on.

“We are strong. We are not changing. We are committed to this cause. It’s a joyous journey.  And there is light, and a lot of light, ahead”.

Nasa leader Raila Odinga on Monday afternoon left the country for Zimbabwe to attend the funeral.

Mr Orengo and Mr Wanjigi were among seven individuals whom the court allowed to travel pending the hearing of a case they filed challenging the suspension of their passports.

The others are lead strategist David Ndii, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, University of Nairobi lecturer Dr Adams Oloo, lawyer Paul Mwangi, and strategist Henry Mien.

Source Daily Nation

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