American citizen in court seeking to be recognised as Kenyan

An African American has moved to court seeking to be recognised as a Kenyan citizen saying he has an inalienable right to return to his motherland and ancestral home, Africa.

Mr Mubarak Abdul Muqsit Akram who is an American citizen says that he has consciously chosen Kenya as his ancestral home of return.

He says that, cognisant of his roots and heritage in the African continent, he visited Kenya briefly for the first time in 2003 and later returned in 2008 and ever since has found solace, warmth and comfort albeit as a ‘foreigner’.

In his petition at the High Court in Mombasa, he is seeking a declaration that under the rules of international law and the constitution, his right of return to his ancestral home and the choice of Kenya as his country of return is guaranteed and protected and ought to be protected by the state.

Mr Akram also seeks an order that the Director of Immigration and Citizen Services be directed to within 30 days of the judgment, recognise him as a Kenyan citizen and issue him with a passport and National Identity Card as of right.

The petitioner says that he has made several unsuccessful applications for registration as a Kenyan citizen to the Department of Immigration which has never elicited any response.

Mr Akram says he was born in the state of Texas in 1946 to African American parents and that since his return to Kenya in 2008, he has established and registered several businesses which he runs from his operating base in Kwale County.

The petitioner who holds a foreigner certificate has sued the Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Director General-Department of Immigration and Citizen Services and the Attorney General.

According to the petitioner, his choice of Kenya as his ancestral home is anchored in and informed by the provisions of The Abuja Proclamation.

The Proclamation is “a declaration of the Pan African Conference on reparations for African Enslavement, Colonization and Neo Colonization” which was sponsored by the African Union held in Abuja Nigeria in April 1993.

The petitioner says that among the provisions of the proclamation was a declaration calling upon all African states “to grant entrance as of right to all persons of African descent and right to obtain residence in those African states, if there is no disqualifying element on African claiming the right to return to his ancestral home, Africa”.

“It is the petitioner’s firm belief and conviction that the Abuja Proclamation forms part of the laws of Kenya by dint of the provisions of the constitution which provides that all general rules of international law and any treaty or convention ratified by Kenya shall form part of the laws of Kenya under the constitution,” part of the petition states.

Mr Akram says that it is his position that his application for grant of citizenship is informed by his understanding of the fact that he is not a refugee, an asylum seeker, an immigrant or emigrant, foreigner, visitor and is not in exile.

He says that to the extent that the Directorate of Immigration and Citizens Services has refused to grant him his request for citizenship as of right provided in the Abuja Proclamation, it is his belief that it has violated the constitution.

“The petitioner’s right to return to his motherland has been infringed in violation of the constitution. The petitioner has simply expressed his wish to exercise his right to return to his ancestral country,” part of the petition states.

The petitioner says that the refusal by the Directorate of Immigration and Citizen Services to respond to his letters or give him reasons, if any for refusing, amounts to violation of the constitution with respect to fair administrative action.

The petitioner also seeks a declaration that his rights under the constitution have been violated.

Mr Akram also wants a declaration that Kenya is under obligation of the constitution to respect, uphold and comply with the general rules of international law including treaties and conventions which it is party to.

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