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Miraa trader sues state for blocking stay in Kenya

Saturday August 25, 2018

Porters gather around a truck carrying khat in Mogadishu /REUTERS

A miraa exporter has sued the state for declaring him a prohibited immigrant.

Ethiopian businessman Abdullahi Said, said the decision will have painful ramifications for his children who were born in Kenya and will affect their right to education.

He said he is apprehensive he will be removed from his country of residence for the last 27 years and separated from his family. Said urged the court to intervene and suspend the decision by the state.

The businessman, who has six children, said he has employed 5,000 people in Nairobi, Meru and Isiolo. He operates three companies — Zaplana International Company Limited, Pluto Petroleum Company and Planet Service Station Limited, all registered in Kenya, he said.

In his suit papers filed under a certificate of urgency, he described himself as a miraa exporter from Kenya to Somalia, a business he has been doing since November 1992.

The man said his residence permit expired on November 4, 2016, while he was being treated in India for accident  injuries. He was there for nine months.

It was during his stay in hospital that his business rivals and employees trusted with management of his petrol station and miraa business plotted to frustrate him, he said in suit papers. On December 25, 2016, when he returned from India, he was denied entry into the country. The immigration officers, he said, did not give him any reason and he spent the night at JKIA.

He took a flight to Mogadishu the next day. However, when he returned on June 22 last year, he was allowed into the country on a three-month visa which was later extended to December 2017.

In June, he lost his Ethiopian passport which he reported to police. He  applied for replacement through the Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi. He was issued a passport on July 31.

When he visited the immigration department to regularise his status he was declared a prohibited immigrant, he said.


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