Amos Wako challenges the US to expose his sins
| Nov 20th 2019 | 3 min read
Busia Senator Amos Wako now wants the United States to make public full particulars of the corruption allegations that have led to his being barred from travelling to the country
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Wako blamed the Trump Administration for announcing the travel ban without giving him a platform to be heard.
“I was baffled when out of the blue, without any notification whatsoever or without being given the fundamental right of being heard on any allegation against me... I’m therefore entitled to ask where has the utter commitment to the protection of human rights, rule of law and constitutionalism gone in the United States of America?” he wondered.
The ban was announced on Monday by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Mr Wako had been “publicly designated due to his involvement in significant corruption”.
The ban did not disclose specifics on the matter.
“I am against corruption. The people of Kenya are entitled to full disclosure of any corruption allegations against me… I’m a man of integrity both when I was an Attorney General and now as a senator,” Wako said.
This is not the first time Wako is being banned from the US. In 2009 he was blacklisted after Washington accused him of being a stumbling block to political reforms.
A ban which he says is still in force. “This is an old story being resuscitated.”
“The reasons given 10 years ago for revocation of my visa were that I had engaged in corrupt actions which adversely affected the national interest of the United States of America,” he added.
The Busia Senator defended himself saying he has not been named in the recent corruption cases but instead he was just a witness in Anglo Leasing cases.
“My attorney in Washington DC in 0ctober 2012 applied to receive copies of all documents leading to the revocation of my visa and the only allegations against me was lack of prosecution of corruption cases — allegations which I had responded to and challenged them to give me one case that I refused to prosecute but they were unable,” he explained.
Wako took a swipe at the US Government and accused it of inefficiency arguing that it took six months before he received a reply on the revocation of his visa in 2009.
“And the response was: We are unable to provide information on your request,” said Wako adding “and now they repeat the same thing”.
He has also accused the US Government of dragging his family through the mud yet they were not involved when he was discharging his duties as the Attorney-General of Kenya.
“My son is an adult and independent. Even if I committed the sin of corruption, which I emphatically deny, all members of my family should not be punished for my sins… the mention of my son and wife was in bad taste,” he said.
Wako was an Attorney General for 20 years from 1991 to 2011 during former presidents Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki’s tenures.
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By Edward Buri