ENVOY JOB ON THE LINE

Court rules Mwende Mwinzi should not renounce US citizenship

Court rules she should not renounce her US citizenship.

In Summary

• Justice James Makau said Mwinzi having been born from a mother who is a US citizen she cannot opt-out.

• He considered that the President had only appointed the nominee and the matter should be taken back to the National assembly.

Mwende Mwinzi talks with her lawyer Prof Tom Ojienda after the court ruling on Thursday November 14, 2019.
Mwende Mwinzi talks with her lawyer Prof Tom Ojienda after the court ruling on Thursday November 14, 2019.
Image: CAROLYNE KUBWA

The High court has ruled that envoy nominee Mwende Mwinzi should not renounce her US citizenship stating that she is protected by the Constitution.

Justice James Makau said Mwinzi having been born from a mother who is a US citizen she cannot opt-out.

"I have no hesitation to agree that citizenship by birth cannot be taken away by anyone."

 
 

He considered that the President had only appointed the nominee and the matter should be taken back to the National assembly.

"Considering the position of the matter is still in progress. It's not complete and the process should be allowed to be completed" he ruled.

The judge, however, dismissed the petition citing that the appointment of Mwinzi to the position of an ambassador is not an event it's a process which takes stages.

Mwinzi had filed a petition at the High Court contesting the National Assembly’s recommendation that she renounces her US citizenship before taking up the Korea envoy job.

She avers that the decision was unconstitutional since an ambassador is not a state officer as provided for in Article 60 of the Constitution.

The nominee further argues that she is exempted by virtue of Article 78 of the Constitution as she was born in the US and as such cannot renounce her citizenship.

She is seeking to stop legislators from forcing her to renounce her US citizenship before she takes up her new post.


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