Jailed Kenyan: Congratulations Kenyan Embassy- Says Milton

Posted on June 26, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Achika’s comments warrant a reply and also a deeper analysis of this most interesting case of Mr. Petersson.
What are the facts presented to Kenyans in Stockholm as presented by the Blogs? As I list them below my observations and comments follow thereafter:
1. Petersson is being held by the police for crimes that have yet to be specified and established.
Only Petersson and the Swedish authorities know the truth of this matter. Sweden is not a banana republic like some would have us believe. Due process is followed to the letter albeit the institutional racism that plagues and permeates the judicial system. In other words Petersson would have to appear before a court, be judged and sentenced. As a result, serve time and or lose his citizenship before being deported to his home country Kenya. This is not necessarily right or legal but it is the trend in Sweden, and Scandinavia as a whole. (see point 4)
2. Petersson is a naturalized Swedish national and immigration has stripped him of his citizenship.
– In my opinion, the how and why Petersson came to Sweden is personal and the question should be directed to him not thrown about on a public forum. What is relevant is the fact that the Swedish state granted him citizenship since he had fulfilled the prerequisites necessary. Swedish law allows one can hold more than one nationality and the Swedish authorities use this fact as a loophole to strip Swedes of foreign extraction of their citizenship. I call it a loophole since they are most certainly aware that many countries of which these peoples originate from do not advocate to having multiple citizenships, as in the case of Kenya. The withdrawal of Petersson’s Swedish citizenship renders him stateless, with all the legal ramifications thereof.
3. The Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm has turned a blind eye to Petersson’s predicament.
– The Kenyan Embassy has behaved correctly in this case. Let no one tell you or convince you otherwise. Petersson is (was) a Swedish national and at the moment of being bestowed Swedish citizenship gave up his Kenyan one as stipulated by Kenyan law. The Kenyan Embassy can therefore not be seen to act in any manner that does not reflect this state of affairs. Basically any intervention would have to be done at a personal level. On the other hand Petersson has the option of re-applying for his Kenyan citizenship and have the full support of the Kenyan Government and by extension the Kenyan Embassy. Any sane and balanced person can come to this logical conclusion. So why is the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm under siege and severe attack? My two cents is that this is a personal crusade, most probably a crusade for power and recognition and the personal benefits accrued in gaining the same. As in all such crusades innocent and sometimes naïve people are used unscrupulously as pawns to be discarded afterwards like used toilet paper. Consider the post election violence in Kenya early this year. Tribal killings disguised as “the fight for democracy” and yet despite all deaths, it is business as usual today. It was basically another power struggle where Kenyans were used yet again as pawns and mindless idiots by those that see them as such. This has only one name and that is servitude. It is high time we as Kenyans learn to decipher and recognize attempts at being recruited for battles and wars that do not benefit us whatsoever as Kenyans.
4. Petersson has been offered compensation in an attempt to repatriate him quietly without fuss.
– Why I’m I not surprised? The Swedish authorities have no other choice than to cajole Petersson with offers of money into following along quietly without making a fuss. Without Swedish citizenship, Petersson is a stateless person and must have a travel document to facilitate his deportation. The Swedes do know how corrupt we Kenyans are, to our shame, and getting Petersson to Kenya seems to the least of their worries, if Petersson can accept the terms offered. Judging from what has been reported in the Blogs the Swedish authorities have an impasse, with no cooperation form either Petersson or the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm. Those of you that have been around in Stockholm a while (a long while!) will remember the case of Lumumba who was a promising boxer, once ranked second to Evander Holyfield in the light heavyweight bracket. He unfortunately fell into bad company and served time after which deportation followed. The interesting thing about Lumumba’s case was that he too was a Swedish national and stripped of his citizenship. What baffles Kenyans here and in Kenya even today is the fact that he was deported, being stateless and accepted into Kenyan territory at JKIA. Reliable sources at the time confirmed that travel papers had been issued by Kenyan authorities to enable the Swedish state apparatus to deport Lumumba. Unconfirmed reports went further with claims that money had exchanged hands in Stockholm to procure the said travel documents.
In Petersson’s case the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm must be congratulated for the backbone shown and diplomatic skill in resisting what must be tremendous pressure from all sides with interests in the case. This will go a long way to ensuring impartiality.

My hope is that we as Kenyans, especially the bloggers, would bring pressure to bear on the Swedish apparatus that has been deporting stateless people over the years instead of putting their fellow Kenyans under the microscope at every opportunity that presents itself, real or imagined. We really must begin to look out for each other. Umoja ni nguvu!
I sincerely hope Petersson finds and receives the justice he seeks.

By Milton Muigai.

Butdoisay comment: Talking of “GOOD AMBASSADORS IN STOCKHOLM”   Milton Muigai is a “TICK”


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2 Responses to “Jailed Kenyan: Congratulations Kenyan Embassy- Says Milton”

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Well said Milton.

As the debate revolving around the issue of deportation and citizenship rages, I would like to take the plunge, if I may, and continue with my contribution as a patriotic Kenyan.

May I begin by stating that it is quite disheartening when heckling and personal attacks are used as the modus operandi in any open debate. We are all entitled to our opinions and it is a shame really when strong arm tactics are used in an attempt to stifle the freedom of speech and free thought. As individuals we sometimes take these concepts for granted or have a warped sense of their meaning and what they signify. As Kenyans we all know that heckling, personal attacks and fist fights are the trappings of our morally corrupt politicians and we are ever critical of their methods, yet when we debate amongst ourselves we resort to the same despicable habits. I personally tend to reason that this is a generation flaw that will disappear with time, but I’m beginning to wonder whether I may be proved wrong. Kenyan bloggers and their contributors belong to the younger and more dynamic generation and to see them, to see us, also subscribing to the same methods is pathetic and saddening. Civility is the mark of a mature and progressive society.

Petersson is according to reports from the blogs currently incarcerated and has yet to be charged with specific crimes. He has also according to these reports not been brought before a court of law. This situation if true is a violation of his rights and should be condemned by all. However, as I have stated in an earlier article, Sweden is not a banana republic and despite the racism that exists the Swedes follow the law to the letter. The only exception, where one is kept incommunicado and confined, being in cases where investigations still under way and releasing the accused may jeopardize these investigations. Apparently Petersson is able to communicate with others outside his area of confinement and this makes the case quite baffling. Any attempt at further analyzing the situation with the above information would be pure speculation. In his shoes I would concentrate my efforts into contacting human rights and public opinion groups, since my rights would have been violated, instead of Kenya bloggers that have little or no influence within the Swedish judiciary. However these groups demand transparency and all the facts have to be presented, furthermore above board. Unfortunately, it is a Kenyan virtue to shun transparency and we are moreover masters at manipulation. I apologize in advance if I have treaded on any toes with this statement. The truth however always has an uncanny habit of surfacing not matter how hard it is hidden from public gaze. Enough said.

There seems to be confusion regarding the process surrounding procuring Swedish citizenship. Please allow me to illuminate. When a person has fulfilled the prerequisites stipulated, an application together with the passport one holds is sent to immigration. Immigration then authenticates your identity and your passport as genuine, and then requests the police to do a background check. If everything checks out, you are granted Swedish citizenship. Your status is confirmed in written form and your passport returned to you. A letter is also sent to the respective representative of your former country to inform them of the additional or change of citizenship. Some years back, when multiple citizenships were not enshrined in Swedish law, the passport would have been sent to the Embassy in question with a letter stating that you had revoked that particular citizenship and taken on the Swedish one. This means that even if the Kenyan Embassy is aware that you have shifted your allegiance, they have never chased down individuals with demands to return their now, according to the Kenyan constitution, legally void passports. Call it fate, administrative blunders or magnanimity from the Kenya Embassy, but this state of affairs does benefit very many Kenyan Swedes. Since multiple citizenships were incorporated in Sweden, the onus of returning the passport is sole obligation of the individual in question. The Swedish state has no use for the passport and cannot certainly annul the said document, therefore delegating the individual the opportunity to doing the right thing. In Peterssons case, he should have returned the Kenya passport to the Government of Kenya, the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm if you will, as it is still the property of the Kenyan state. Moreover the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm has within its mandate to demand the passport from the individual with the help of the Swedish State if need be. I wonder how some bloggers would react if this was the case. The Kenyan Embassy as per blog reports has apparently been corresponding with the Swedish authorities in Petersson’s case. These communications are between two states at a diplomatic level and the Kenyan Embassy is under no obligation whatsoever to divulge their contents just because someone, with no authority mind you, demands so. Someone making demands of this nature should state the authority or platform that gives them the right to do so. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on where one stands, being a patriotic Kenyan, a quasi-militant activist and or blogger does not necessarily qualify one as a recipient.
“It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it” Johann Von Goethe

Let’s be candid. Pettersson’s case, apart from the incarceration, is not unique. Many Kenyans retain and hold onto their Kenyan passports even after they have been granted Swedish citizenship. I neither blame them nor condemn them and do not wish to pass any judgment or analyze the reasons behind this decision. Therefore the reason as to why Petersson is still in procession of his Kenya passport despite being bestowed upon Swedish citizenship is obvious. This piece of information is now known to the Swedish authorities and to the question as to how they procured this information is only answerable by Petersson himself. My point is that sitting on the fence has its advantages and disadvantages. In Petersson’s case the disadvantages are now manifesting themselves and unfortunately add fuel to the institutional and racist perception of Africans as being untrustworthy and dishonest. Friendship in all honor, but should we stop reasoning and turn a blind eye when one errs just because he is a friend, just because he is Kenyan? If we do so, what message is being sent as to the nature of our society? This, I daresay, is one of the predicaments facing the Kenyan Ambassador and the diplomats at the Embassy in Stockholm.

So what is the gross affront to the Kenyan constitution that has occurred? How, as one blogger puts it, has the Kenyan constitution been raped by an advanced capitalist country? At the risk of being identified as a “mulambaji”, how is the Kenyan Ambassador and by extension the diplomats accredited to Sweden to blame for Petersson retaining his void passport? Is the Ambassador to blame for the attempt to deport Petersson? How does she figure in the process of applying for and receiving Swedish citizenship? Granted, the Swedish authorities should be condemned for stripping Petersson of his citizenship and trying to clandestinely deport him, but hasn’t Petersson indeed provided them with the opportunity to mischief by retaining his Kenyan passport in direct contradiction to the Kenyan constitution? Swedish citizenship is granted after a minimum of four years residency in Sweden. By this time any person of moderate intelligence should be able to comprehend what being African in Sweden entails. Naivety cannot suffice as an excuse. As so the saying goes one makes his bed and lays in it, aptly describing this situation. We have been asked to defend the Kenyan constitution by one blogger? From what may I ask? Does calling the Ambassador “a lame duck” fortify this defense? What role are Kenyan “snakes in our midst” expected to play? Or are they not patriotic enough? I personally may not agree with some of the things that the Kenya Embassy in Stockholm has done, during and before the tenure of the current Ambassador, and will most probably not do so in the future. But in this particular case I fail to see the wrong they have been accused of and what warrants the vicious attacks directed at them. One most zealous blogger terms those that digress from his modus operandi of dealing with the Embassy and its officials as showing signs of “slowly falling into sycophancy”. This is a certainly the pot calling the kettle black. Sycophancy is basically a trait subscribed to self-seekers and manifests itself in many forms be they passive or aggressive. The same blogger wants every patriotic Kenyan to defend the Kenyan constitution that he himself identifies as being colonial. Defend things colonial? I think not! This is contradiction per excellence, another topic for some other time.

Be safe wanainchi wenzangu.

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