Former AG Amos Wako and family banned from US

by David Karani

The Busia senator and former Attorney-General Amos Wako, his wife Flora Ngaira and son Julius have been declared persona non-grata by the US and subsequently barred from entering the country and doing business.

The ban stems from corruption allegations while Wako served as the country’s attorney-general more than ten years ago.

In a statement, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo also banned Mr Wako’s wife Flora Ngaira, and son, Julius Wako.

This means that Mr Wako, wife and son will not be allowed to visit America or transact any business in that country with companies affiliated to Americans.

“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), as carried forward by the continuing appropriations Act, 2020 (Div. A, P.L. 116-59). 

Section 7031(c) 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.

The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their immediate family members. 

“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.

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 could be restricted.

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