Kenya’s ambassador nominee to South Korea Mwende Mwinzi wins battle with parliament as High court threw out the decision to have her forced to renounce her American citizenship first.
Ms. Mwinzi had moved to court to contest parliament’s decision to restrict her from taking up her role as the South Korean ambassador if she did not renounce her American citizenship.
In her petition she argued that her American citizenship is by birth therefore she cannot renounce it since it is out of her control.
“My US citizenship was acquired by birth and as such, my citizenship or the process of opting in was a consequence of circumstances out of my control. I did not participate in the decision to be born in the US and I cannot “opt out” of that decision,” she submitted in an affidavit.
Justice Makau noted that an ambassador is not a State officer but a public officer which guarantees her to take up the job without denouncing her American Citizenship.
“There is no legislation establishing the office of ambassador as a State office but Parliament has powers to enact legislation in that effect. It’s clear that a State officer who acquires dual citizenship shall lose his position,” ruled the Judge.
However, despite the High Court okaying her appointment, the judge noted that Mwende Mwinzi took up the petition to court too quickly, citing that her vetting process was not even complete.
“The president is waiting for approval of the parliament. The petitioner didn’t allow the president to make his decision. The petition is premature,” noted the judge.