Oliver Musembi and Kenneth Ogosia
25 January 2010
The government spent more than Sh40 million to deport radical Jamaican Islamic preacher Sheikh Abdullah al Faisal.
Immigration and Registration of Persons minister Otieno Kajwang’ gave the figure on Monday as it emerged that two officers had been suspended for clearing the preacher to enter the country.
Without specifying the amount, the minister said it was “in excess of Sh40 million” but defended the expenditure as warranted.
“It is the responsibility of the State to ship back the likes of al Faisal and this was necessitated by the fact that some deportees turn violent. This makes commercial airlines uncomfortable with such travellers,” said Mr Kajwang’.
Sheikh al Faisal, whose arrest and subsequent deportation triggered fatal demonstrations by Muslim youths in Nairobi, was deported last week.
The government had to hire a private jet to fly him to Jamaica after airlines declined to transport him and various other countries denied him access.
An earlier attempt to deport him two weeks ago failed after airlines refused to take him on board from Nigeria to the Gambia.
Sheikh al Faisal entered Kenya on December 24, last year, from Tanzania through the Lunga Lunga border point. He had been to Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland and Malawi.
Sheikh al Faisal served four years in a United Kingdom prison after being convicted of calling for the murder of Jews and Hindus.
On Monday, it emerged that two Immigration officers had been suspended for sanctioning the entry of the Islamic hate preacher.
The two, the officer in charge of the border point and his junior, who stamped the preacher’s visa, are likely to face tougher action since the region’s principal immigration officer has been asked to prepare a report on the entry of Sheikh al Faisal.