Lawyer Kethi Kilonzo for immediate Wajir South Member of Parliament, Mahamud Muhumed Sirat who has been directed to present himself before the Nairobi Chief Magistrate on May 4 and plead to the two-count indictment
BY SAM ALFAN.
Five-year old citizenship criminal case against immediate former Wajir South Member of Parliament, Mahamud Muhumed Sirat, will be re-opened afresh.
The politician is required to present himself before the Nairobi Chief Magistrate on May 4 and plead to the two-count indictment that was first filed by the Immigration department on February 9, 2010.
High Court Judge Grace Ngenye-Macharia on Thursday ruled that all immigration cases filed before the new Constitution took effect on August 27, 2010 were valid and must proceed to their logical conclusion.
She threw out Sirat’s appeal challenging the decision made by former Nairobi Chief Magistrate, Gilbert Mutembei-on February 9, 2011-blocking his bid to block his prosecution. Sirat received a reprieve on February 16, 2011, when the High Court indefinitely suspended his criminal trial on February16, 2011.
The Immigration Department had filed the case against the former MP alleging that he was Australian but he declined to plead, arguing he was a Kenyan and not an alien. Sirat had protested that the case was meant to stop him from pursuing an election petition he had lodged against his political rival Abdirahman Ali Hassan.
Sirat, who had vied for the seat on an ODM-Kenya ticket, successfully petitioned the election of Hassan (Kanu) and won the by-election held in mid-October 2010.
Sirat had been charged with knowingly misleading Immigration officer William Okello that he was eligible for a Kenyan passport by failing to disclose that he was Australian. The alleged offence was committed on November 29, 2006 at Nyayo House in Nairobi.
The second count alleged that Sirat was found unlawfully present on Kenya at Nairobi South “C” Estate on May 25, 2008 without a valid pass or permit allowing him to be in the country.
The Judge reasoned that the charges preferred against Sirat were not inconsistent with the Constitution and the politician was presumed innocent until proven guilty. “It is only in a criminal trial that it shall be established whether Sirat legally acquired his national Identity Card. It is the outcome of the criminal proceedings that shall determine whether or not be was genuinely registered as a Kenyan citizen,” she said.
Justice Ngenye-Macharia recalled that Sirat had secured High Court orders on October 9, 2009 quashing a deportation order issued by former Immigration minister, the late Otieno Kajwang, on May 23, 2008, which described the former parliamentarian as a prohibited immigrant and a threat to national security.
The Judge observed that the court had held that it was unlawful for the former minister to have issued the deportation order before confirming how Sirat had acquired Kenyan citizenship in the first place.
“Effectively, evidence must be adduced in respect of whether Sirat gave misleading information leading to his acquisition of Kenyan citizenship,” she pointed out.
Mahamud Muhumed Sirat is required to present himself before the Nairobi Chief Magistrate on May 4 and plead to the two-count indictment.