PI on Kenyan journos ‘lifted’

Geza Ulole

JF-Expert Member
Oct 31, 2009
PI on Kenyan journos ‘lifted’

By LAWI JOEL, 26th November 2010 @ 22:00, Total Comments: 2, Hits: 362

The seven Kenyan journalists expelled from Tanzania with a Prohibited Immigrant (PI) notice for illegally working in the country in 2005 are free to come back, the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ has learnt.

The deported journalists were Chaacha Mwita, Junius Mbogo Murage, Joseph Mutuma Muthiu, Duncan Kizito Namulanda, Helen Wambui Mutungi, John Wanjohi Kamau and Magaret Waithira.

The PI notice the journalists were served with was lifted late last month by the former Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Lawrence Masha, shortly before the October 31 elections.

A senior immigration officer who revealed the information to the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ on condition of anonymity said Mr Masha had asked for the file of the deportees shortly before he left for his campaign rallies in Mwanza Region.

He was recontesting the Nyamagana parliamentary seat which he, however, lost. ‘When he
called for the file before he left for Mwanza, I thought he was planning to take some action on the matter,’ he said. After his return from Mwanza, Mr Masha is reported to have acted fast on the matter without consultation with his immigration officers.

He wrote two letters; one to the Principal Commissioner of Immigration, the other to Mwananchi Communication Limited informing them of the waiver. “It was just some two weeks before the elections,” said another senior immigration officer, who also asked for anonymity.

Authorities of Mwananchi Communication have confirmed the waiver. “We were the ones who asked for it because the PI notice was inconveniencing the journalists,”said Theophil
Makunga, Managing Editor of Mwananchi Communication Limited.

When contacted, Mr Masha said: “I am no longer Minister for Home Affairs. I would not like to comment on government affairs.”

“But it was you who waived the deportation order,” Daily News on Saturday insisted.

“I am saying, I am no longer Minister for Home Affairs, I would not like to comment on government matters.”

“Once served with a PI notice, one cannot travel freely to some other countries. So we asked the government to lift it as a matter of convenience for the journalists,” said Mr Makunga.

In the letter that he addressed to the Commissioner of Immigration, the former minister said the Kenyans could return to the country, but were not allowed to work, according to immigration officials.

Sect. 23 of the Immigration Act 1995 allows the aggrieved party to appeal against a deportation order.

According to section 14 of the Act, “A deportation order shall remain in force for the period specified therein unless sooner varied or revoked by the minister or, if no period is so specified, until varied or revoked by the minister.”

The Kenyan journalists were served with a PI notice on June 28 allegedly for working with the Citizen newspaper without work permits.

Mr Makunga told the ‘Daily News on Saturday’that the journalists unfortunately rushed into work before their permits were ready. “They thought the system was like the one in Kenya where an applicant for a work permit would start work while the permit is being processed.”

Unfortunately for them, in Tanzania the permit must first be given before the applicant can engage in business or start work.

The immigration, however, added that their illegal engagement in work notwithstanding, some of the Kenyan journalists were “arrogant and contemptuous of Tanzanians, a fact that made them undesirable immigrants.

“One of them dared say Tanzanians did not know English and they had come to teach our people English,” said the source.

Section 10 (1) of the Immigratioon Act of 1995 paragraph (f) defines a prohibited immigrant as “a person whose entry or continued presence in Tanzania is, in the opinion of the Minister or the Director (now Principal Commissioner of Immigration), undesirable and is declared by the Minister of the Director (Principal Commissioner) to be a prohibited immigrant, except that every declaration of the Director (Principal Commissioner) under this paragraph shall be subject to confirmation by the Minister, whose decision shall be final.

The ‘Daily News on Saturday’ has learnt that shortly after the six Kenyan journalists were served with the PI notice in 2005, Mr Joseph Mungai, Minister for Home Affairs then, wanted to lift the notice, but his immigration officers advised him against it.

The immigration office was surprised at the contents of the letters which they said varied. The letter sent to Mwananchi merely said the PI notice had been lifted.

“But the one addressed to the Principal Commissioner stated that the Kenyans could return to the country but were not allowed to work,î the source said. “So why were they allowed to return to the country?”

Mr Makunga, however, said the journalists would not be allowed to work with the paper because they were not needed.

“Circumstances under which they work for our organization were different then,” he explained. “We were just taking off and we needed people with their skill. The situation was different.

“Moreover, we have worked out an arrangement to get about five graduates from the local universities who are interested in journalism,” he said.

Mr Makunga said the new recruits are sent to Kenya for orientation work with the Nation newspaper there. They are also trained there in journalism for a year before they come back to work with the Tanzanian Citizen. Daily News | PI on Kenyan journos ‘lifted’


JF-Expert Member
Dec 21, 2009
Wajinga siku zote wataendelea kuwa wajinga tu hadi pale watakapoamua kuutokomeza ujinga wao, na wezi wataendelea kuwa wezi tu.
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