NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – Attorney General Amos Wako on Wednesday vowed to take legal action against the American government, which he says has ruined his reputation by accusing him of being corrupt and hinderance to reforms in Kenya.
Mr Wako addressed a news conference on Wednesday evening where confirmed he was the government official issued with a US visa ban last week. He said he would seek legal advice on American law before filing the proceedings in the United States on what he termed as defamation.
“I have not been engaged in corrupt actions which have adversary affected the national interests of the US as claimed by the letter of revocation,” the ever smiling AG affirmed.
The letter of revocation, he said, was delivered to him on Wednesday afternoon.
“Although I am totally indifferent to the revocation of the visa and have absolutely no desire to visit the United States of America, nevertheless it is my intention to seek legal advise with the view of instituting legal proceedings in the US,” he said.
United States Assistant Secretary of State in charge of African Affairs Johnnie Carson announced the travel ban during a visit to Kenya last week but declined to name the official only saying a letter would be sent to the affected individual. Since the announcement, speculation has been rife in local and international media over who the individual might be; with most fingers pointing at the country’s serving Chief Government Legal Advisor.
Mr Carson’s announcement stoked a diplomatic storm between the two countries with Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula “vowing to retaliate.”
“I am following the matter as Mr Amos Wako and not the government. I know the government will have an official position of its own,” Mr Wako said in his threat.
The government chief legal advisor disputed claims that he had frustrated or obstructed reforms in the country Kenya and lined up seven page defence outlining his ‘achievements’ most of which he claimed were reform oriented. He included overseeing the country moving from a one party state to a multi party democracy and the establishment of various commissions to review the constitution.
“I have actually facilitated the said reforms. Ask any members of the appointed independent commissions whether I have obstructed their work. In fact they will say that I have actually facilitated their work,” he said in his defence.
The AG accused Washington of double standards in dealing with Nairobi and complained that while the US has been demanding action on the Anglo Leasing corruption cases it has failed to facilitate cooperation with key suspects currently residing in America.
“This is a case of a big brother who is more competent demanding more from the younger brother, than he the bigger brother can deliver,” he said.
Mr Wako has been the country’s chief legal counsel since 1991 and has survived two regimes including the NARC administration when most senior officials were sent packing.