The president Uhuru kenyatta Nominee for the ambassadorial job to South Korea Mwende Mwinzi is suing to stop MPs from forcing her to renounce her US citizenship before she takes the job.
In a case that could determine how Kenyans in the diaspora may get involved in government jobs in the future, Ms Mwinzi whom the National Assembly approved for the job on condition that she gave up her US citizenship, says it would be a violation of her rights to be forced out of something she did not choose.
The key question in the case filed last evening at the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court is whether persons born of Kenyan parents abroad should relinquish their foreign nationality to be allowed to serve in the Kenya government.
“My US citizenship was acquired by birth and as such, my citizenship or the process of opting in was a consequence of circumstances out of my control,” she argues in an affidavit.
High court advocate Mr Morris kimuli has said, The matter would have to entail a declaration of the law by the courts. If a court declares that you are not fit to hold office, orders will issue for the vacation of your seat.
“The phrase shall not hold dual citizenship appears completely restrictive,
For example, if you were born in America 50 years ago and you have never lived there, but you have lived and worked in Kenya and served people in different capacities, is it fair to say that you cannot them serve in particular high-ranking capacities just because you have paper citizenship of another country? The court, in my view ought to look at all practical circumstances surrounding dual citizenship,and particularly the personal anticedents of the concerned person.
On the other hand, before 2010, dual citizenship was not permitted. There must be a presumption that anyone who becomes a citizen of another country or remind as such after 2010 knows fully the consequences of remaining as such.
There is a functional purpose served by that restriction. Imagine Kenya and Somalia are in a battle. The commander of the Kenyan forces is both a Kenyan and a Somalian. Even if he is fully committed to Kenya, if mistakes are made, and we lose, there will be a perception that he withheld himself for the sake of his other country. Perceptions are bad.
“If you read the book of Samuel, you will see how the leaders of Philistines demanded that David should not go to war against Israel because of the possibility that he could change loyalty midway.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is a State Officer. He recently appeared to relax his stand on the Somalia maritime boundary dispute. What would we be thinking of he was also a citizen of Somalia? In brief, the test ought to be objective.
Our Constitution says no one shall be affected by the rule in dual citizenship I’d he or she got the citizenship if the other county in circumstances where you cannot opt out. It appears to me that no one can opt out the place he or she was born. On that ground, Mwende may sail through, kimuli added.