NAIROBI – The US government has slapped a travel ban on Kenya’s former Attorney General Amos Wako and two members of his family over corruption.
In a statement issued on Monday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Amos Wako, his wife Flora Ngaira and son Julius Wako will neither be allowed to travel to the country nor do business with US.
“Today (Monday), the Department designates former Kenyan Attorney General Amos Sitswila Wako due to his involvement in significant corruption,” said the statement that was released on Monday evening.
Mr Pompeo said the designation was made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and related programs appropriations Act, 2019 (Div. F, P.L. 116-6), which provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that officials of foreign governments have been involved in significant corruption, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.
“Today’s action sends a strong signal that the United States is a valuable partner in Kenya’s fight against corruption. Economic prosperity for all Kenyans is only possible by defeating the scourge of corruption, which also requires a functional, fair, and transparent criminal justice system,” said Mr Pompeo
He added that the United States will continue to stand with all Kenyans as they strive to curb and punish corruption in Kenya.
“Economic prosperity for all Kenyans is only possible by defeating the scourge of corruption, which also requires a functional, fair, and transparent criminal justice system. The United States will continue to stand with all Kenyans as they strive to curb and punish corruption in Kenya,” the statement adds.
This is however not the first time that Wako has been banned from travelling to the U.S.
In October 2009, the American Government announced a travel ban for Wako saying he had ‘deliberately blocked political reforms’ following the post-poll violence the previous year.
A lawyer by profession, Wako served as the Attorney General of Kenya from May 1991 to August 2011.
Mr Wako may still be allowed onto US soil if he visits as a member of the Kenyan delegation to the UN meetings or if the UN invites him, even though his movement would be restricted.