Busia Senator Amos Wako has denied any involvement in a corruption-related case during his 10-year tenure as the country’s Attorney General.
This comes after the United States on Monday imposed sanctions on him, his wife and son, accusing him of involvement in significant corruption.
Wako, who was Attorney General during Kenya’s rocky transition from one-party rule to democracy, has been barred from entering the United States under the sanctions.
A statement from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, criticized Wako several times during his tenure as attorney general from 1991 to 2011 for not doing enough to crackdown on corruption.
“Today, the Department designates former Kenyan Attorney General Amos Sitswila Wako due to his involvement in significant corruption. This designation is 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),” the statement reads.
The American government stated that it will continue to help Kenya fight corruption.
“ 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. The United States will continue to stand with all Kenyans as they strive to curb and punish corruption in Kenya,”
In 2009, the US government banned him from traveling to the United States, accusing him of obstructing the fight against corruption in Kenya.
The move sparked a diplomatic row with Kenya. The statement signed by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo did not detail the allegations.
Wako was blacklisted under an executive order that prohibits officials of foreign governments involved in corruption from entering the United States, as well as their immediate family members.