Kenyan Transport minister Chris Murungaru has contracted a team of lawyers to sue the British government for damage wrought by the revocation of his Visa, baning him from traveling to the United Kingdom.
The minister has also retained in the team made up of local and solicitors, junior barristers and a Queen’s Counsel to battle the ban to step on British soil on the basis of his “character, conduct and associations’’.
Led by a local Member of Parliament Paul Muite who is also a prominent lawyer, the team has already written a letter to the UK Home Office demanding the specifics of the travel ban slapped on the minister on July 25.
“We have demanded for the specifics and thereafter we shall file the case against Her Majesty’s government in two weeks time,’’ Muite said.
He had promised the legal process was to begin with the filing of a 14-day notice, seeking clearance to file the case in the Court of England, in three weeks.
“We will file the notice of motion and thereafter start court proceedings against the Home Secretary’s action in three weeks.’’
“The British government and particularly the Home Secretary will not get away with this particular issue,” Muite added.
The minister saw the hand of immediate former British High Commissioner to Kenya Sir Edward Clay, with whom he had a run over his attack on government over corruption, in the travel ban.
Addressing a press conferences shortly after receiving the banish letter from the British Embassy in Nairobi, Murungaru insisted he was hospitalized in May while in London and could not have met ‘undesirable characters’’.
His Lawyer dismissed as “cheap politics” claims by some lawyers that Murungaru may not go far in pursuing the matter through courts since the UK was exercising its sovereignty. He argued the minister has a case against the UK government under the “natural laws of justice’’.
Kenyan Foreign Minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere also said the government will raise the matter during the coming Commonwealth heads of states summit in Malta in November.
The British Home Office advised airlines against ferrying him to its land even on transit arrangement. He is the first serving minister to be banned from traveling to Britain. Murungaru joins an exclusive club of international pariahs such as Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and members of his government.
To make the case watertight, four layers of lawyers will go flat out to prove that any accused person must be given fair treatment.
Muite argued that he had not been accorded a fair chance to raise his concerns.”We are saying that they must not only express their reasons to him but also give him a chance to be heard.” He said they will petition that all details be made public because Murungaru’s demands have fallen on deaf ears.
Earlier reports suggested that Murungaru had opted to fight against the ban through the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Kenyan Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kiraitu Murungi has backed his colleague, whose visa was revoked by the British government.
“As a lawyer I can say that Dr Murungaru has been very shabbily treated by the British,” Kiraitu told journalists in Nairobi soon after presiding over an official function.
Kiraitu said the Government was not privy to accusations facing Murungaru and also challenged the British government to go public about it.
Kiraitu said the Government was in the dark on the possible accusations facing his Transport colleague.He said the British government has a duty to go public on the accusations against the minister the same way the Home Department went public to announce the revocation of his visa.
“The British government should have called Murungaru and tell him his sins and give him a chance to defend himself,” he said.
He said it was a breach of Kenya and British laws for the Home Office to revoke the visa without explaining to him or the Kenya Government.
“There is a clear breach of laws on natural justice and I hope that will be pursued by the minister’s lawyers,” he said.
He said the action taken by Britain had created unnecessary speculation among Kenyans, while giving rise to the minister’s political enemies to create innuendos on his personal character.