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‘I am shocked, Why me?’ Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko responds to US ban

Former Nairobi Governor says the ban was political. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has responded to viral news from the United States of America (USA) embassy, banning him and his immediate family from travelling to the US.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed the Immigration documents stopping the five (Sonko, his wife and three children) from getting visas to the US, citing alleged corruption during Sonko’s reign as the Governor of Nairobi County.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, the ousted county boss said the ban was a political statement terming it as a strategic political move to silence and curb his political ambitions.

“I have received the news that the US embassy has declared me and my family persona non grata in America. This is a strategic political move to silence me and curb my political ambitions, but I will never be cowed.  Am I the only politician facing corruption case in Kenya? " he posed.

Then added, “The Judiciary is currently addressing over 400 cases of corruption 20 out of which are facing politicians. The move is obviously politically motivated by my political rivals to deny my right as a Kenyan Citizen to prove that I am indeed innocent,’.

He argued that he had not been convicted by the Kenyan Courts in the matter mentioned.

In his statement, Sonko also called on relevant authorities to table evidence of his alleged corruption.

“I challenge the office of the DPP and DCI to table evidence and prove beyond reasonable doubt that I am indeed corrupt, than waste the  Court's precious time in this political inspired case,” he remarked.

While making the declaration, the US said it had obtained “credible information” that the ex-Nairobi County boss was involved in graft, including bribery, irregular awarding of tenders, and undermining the rule of law.

“Corruption erodes public trust in government,” said the US in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon.

“The U.S. Department of State is designating former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko Gideon Mbuvi Kioko due to his involvement in significant corruption.  While in office, Governor Sonko solicited bribes and kickbacks in exchange for awarding government contracts to his associates,” the State Department said on its official website.