Kenya: New Identity For ‘Mercenaries’: They Are Czech Citizens

By Emmanuel Onyango

Kenya Times, Kenya
March 14 2006

Minister Says They Are Czech Citizens Licensed To Work In Kenya.

THE two alleged mercenaries are citizens of the Czech Republic and
are licensed to work and do business in Kenya.

Immigration Minister Gideon Konchella refuted claims that the two
brothers are from Armenia, and confirmed that they were actually from
Czech Republic.

The minister said that the Kenya Government had earlier this year
granted work permits to the two brothers, allowing them to invest in
the country and engage in business activities.

The genuineness of two brothers now comes under question, after they
had on Monday morning insisted they were from Armenia and that they had
blood relations with the Armenian Prime Minister, Andranik Margaryan.

Said the minister: “The two brothers are businessmen who had applied
for a work permit in January. The papers they presented to the ministry
showed that they were actually citizens of the Czech Republic.”

The minister added: “We found their papers (which confirmed their
citizenship) to be in order and issued them with work permits.”

The Minister consequently ruled out any possible deportation of
the two brothers, irrespective of concerns by Lang’ata MP Raila
Odinga that the duo were mercenaries on hire assigned to assassinate
Opposition leaders.

“We cannot deport them because they are in the country legally. Raila
should come out and tell the Government more about the mercenary
allegations,” Konchella said.

Asked whether his ministry had attempted to dig into the history of
the two brothers before issuing them with work permits, Konchella
became dismissive, stressing that his job was not to investigate
permit applicants.

“It is not my job to investigate their activities. We just verified
their documents and issued work permits,” the minister quipped.

The Immigration Ministry, Konchella added, will only consider deporting
the two if the Police and security authorities can ascertain that
they are a threat to the country’s security.

“If they are investigated and found to be mercenaries, we will deal
with them. There is no way my ministry will tolerate foreigners who
can cause havoc to the country,” asserted Konchella.

The Minister’s revelation intensifies the controversy surrounding the
identity of two brothers who left the country as mysteriously as was
their arrival.

Konchella further dismissed the theory that the two foreigners were
hired by the Government to wipe out personalities perceived as a
threat to President Kibaki’s rule.

“How can this be a Government project? When mercenaries are hired,
they are usually assigned to overturn the Government. How then can
a government try to overturn itself?” Konchella posed.

The minister also urged Police Commissioner Hussein Ali to cast his
net afar to foreign countries while investigating the two brothers,
and even seek the help of international agencies.

“The Police should investigate what the two brothers have been doing
even in Dubai, and consider taking them at the international courts
if they are found to be mercenaries,” Konchella added.

The minister, however, failed to explain how the two foreigners managed
to secure a press briefing at the Jomo Kenyatta airport’s VIP lounge,
which is usually reserved for senior Government officials and official
State guests.

“I’m not aware why they used the VIP lounge and how they managed to
get a reservation. I’m just from my constituency and am yet to report
to the office,” said Konchella.

The Immigration minister made the comments yesterday after paying a
courtesy call on the newly-appointed Nyanza Provincial Commissioner
John Nandasaba.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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