NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s immigration authorities on Tuesday allowed an opposition
lawyer and a businessman to fly out of the country after they spent the night at
Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport following disputes over their
Senator James Orengo, the National Super Alliance (NASA)
lead lawyer and strategist, and prominent businessman Jimi Wanjigi departed at
1:45 p.m. on Tuesday after Immigration Department officials at the airport
reportedly blocked their travel.
Speaking to reporters before his departure, Orengo said Director of
Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa had the court orders that reversed a previous
suspension of their passports.
"While giving the passports back this morning, Kihalangwa knew he had the
information and was in possession of the orders," he said.
The two had booked tickets to fly to Zimbabwe to attend the funeral of
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Their plans to travel followed the revocation of the suspension of their
passports and those of five other NASA leaders by Judge John Mativo on Monday.
But Orengo said an immigration officer at the airport refused to let them
pass saying their passports had been suspended.
They then called Kihalangwa over the issue and he told them he had not seen
(Xinhua) -- National Super Alliance (NASA) lead lawyer
and strategist James Orengo ® and prominent businessman Jimi Wanjigi
address journalists at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, capital of
Kenya, Feb. 20, 2018. Kenya’s immigration authorities on Tuesday allowed
an opposition lawyer and a businessman to fly out of the country after
they spent the night at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
following disputes over their passports.
XINHUA PHOTO: NYALWASH
The immigration director in a statement issued on Tuesday said by the time
Orengo and Wanjigi arrived at the airport, the department was not served with
the court order lifting the suspension of their passports, a position
contradicted by Orengo.
"The said orders had not been served by the time the duo wanted to travel.
After arriving at the JKIA, they were requested to avail the copies of the said
court order but they had none," said Kihalangwa.
Kihalangwa said the NASA leaders instead "showed some writings in their
phones purporting to be court orders."
However, opposition leader Raila Odinga’s adviser Salim Lone said Orengo and
Wanjigi served the airport immigration officer with the court order but their
passports were still confiscated.
Both Orengo and Wanjigi were to join Odinga for the funeral in Harare on
They were supposed to fly back on Wednesday at midday, according to their
The High Court in Nairobi on Monday lifted the government decision to suspend
passports of seven key opposition figures among them NASA strategist David Ndii,
Orengo and Wanjigi.
The opposition leaders argue that the government’s suspension of their
passports is "unreasonable, grossly heavy handed and unjustified in an open