Kenya Senator Amos Wako, former longtime Attorney General under Moi and Kibaki, gets US “public designation” for involvement in corruption and a second US “visa ban”

Secretary of State Pompeo released a press statement today announcing a “public designation” by the United States of former Attorney General Amos Wako, along with his wife and son, for evidence of involvement in significant corruption, seemingly from his time as Attorney General. Wako served during both the Goldenburg and Anglo Leasing corruption scandals.

Recent news finds the successful Goldenburg scam architect Kamlish Pattni obtaining a court judgement for additional funds from the Government relating to incompetent prosecution endeavors against him. Also we read this week that more than Switzerland have been holding frozen funds related to the Anglo Leasing scandal which have not been released to Kenya.

The previous visa ban on Wako under U.S. Presidential Proclamation 7750 of 2004, was legally confidential, but was announced by then-Ambassador Michael Ranneberger in a Tweet in November 2009. Wako publicly acknowledged the ban for alleged failure to cooperate with reforms in the wake of the Post Election Violance following the 2007 election and announced he would sue to have it lifted. It is unclear when that ban was lifted, although it must have been a some point. As of December 2015 then-Ambassador Robert Godec told The Standard that there were several Kenyans barred from the US under Presidential Proclamation 7750.

In early 2008, according to a Daily Nation report said to be from Wikileaks, the US banned three Kenyan member of the Electoral Commission of Kenya based on evidence of bribery, but the US has never made any type of disclosure of that action or the underlying Election Commission bribery issue although I was told separately of ECK bribery by non-US diplomatic sources in the course of my work for the International Republican Institute during the Post Election Violence.

Reviewing the 1992 Election Observation Report from the International Republican Institute for my last post I noted that Attorney General Wako was accused by IRI of being “responsible for egregious pre-election irregularities related to the election framework” along with many of the District Commissioners.

Kenya’s voter registration again delayed . . . [with updates]

UPDATED 10/24: IEBC Chairman Hassan spoke to the press Wednesday afternoon Nairobi time.  Bottom line is that he is “cautiously optimistic” that the Government will follow through with a commitment to make a remaining authorization of the outstanding 60% due for the first major shipment of the Biometric Voter Registration Kits. If this happens so that the kits arrive by Tuesday, the IEBC can conduct the voter registration in November.  Any further delay would have “grave consequences” rippling through the election preparations–thus jeopardizing the March 4 date.

UPDATED 10/23:  New development from Capital FM:

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – The government has assured that the next General Election will be held on schedule after the Treasury and the Attorney General approved the financing agreement for Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.

Finance Minister Njeru Githae on Tuesday morning said the delay in approval of the financing agreement was due to its late arrival from France.

He said that neither the Treasury nor the Attorney General was to blame for the setback since the agreement was only received on Monday.

Original post:

Nevermind my previous post about biometric voter registration in Kenya that was to have started almost two weeks ago.  The latest glitch, as reported in The Nation, is the need for the Attorney General’s office to approve a letter of credit so the French manufacturer of the BVR kits will ship them:

According to deadlines set by IEBC in August, voter registration was supposed to be carried out in September and October. However, the exercise was now set to start on November 14.

The commission has been forced to amend its timelines several times over the past three months due to the BVR crisis.

With only 133 days left to the March 4 election, it will take 60 days to complete a proper voter listing programme involving 18 million Kenyans with 30 days being set aside for the actual registration and another 30 days for voter inspection.

The frustrated elections boss revealed that he met Prof Muigai at the sidelines of the Mashujaa Day celebrations on Saturday and pleaded with him to save the country by signing the document.

This is the sort of problem or issue that is going to be testing everyone’s patience for the duration of the process of electing a new government.

Is it necessary and legitimate for questions to be raised in granting legal approval for the letter of credit?  Hard to say;  that some players in the process openly desire to delay the election, in the context of the controversial nature of the Attorney General’s appointment in the first place, means that public and private skepticism are inevitable.


Kibaki agrees to start fresh on key nominations

Reuters: “Kenya President rows back on judicial appointments”

By James Macharia

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki ended a row over top judicial appointments that had threatened the country’s fragile coalition government by saying on Tuesday that he would start the selection process afresh.

Daily Nation: “Kibaki withdraws list of nominees”

By Anthony Kariuki
President Kibaki has withdrawn his nominations to four constitutional offices.

The President said that whereas he acted within his constitutional mandate in making the nominations, the matter was of great national importance.
“Following extensive consultations with a large section of Members of Parliament in order to ensure that national interest remains paramount, I reiterate that both the Legal and Justice Committee of Parliament as well as the Committee on Finance and Trade concluded that I have acted within my constitutional mandate in the execution of the nominations,” he said at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi.

“However, considering the importance of the office of the Chief Justice as the head of the Judicial Arm of the Government, I have considered all the concerns expressed in regard to this nomination and I have concluded that it is beneficial that the nomination to fill this office, during the transition period, is also done through the Judicial Service Commission,” said President Kibaki.

“In regard to nomination of the Attorney General, I have invited the Prime Minister for further consultations.

“I have also decided that the positions of Director of Public Prosecutions and Controller of Budget should be advertised through the Public Service Commission,” he said.

President Kibaki said the move will “enable us to move forward with the implementation process of the Constitution”.

It would appear that the decision of current AG Wako not to support the Kibaki appointments may have been a key event, as well perhaps as the heavy diplomatic pressure.

Kenya’s Speaker Marende Makes Key Ruling that Kibaki Nominations for Chief Justice and Attorney General Do Not Meet Constitutional Requirement

With Marende’s eventual determination that Kibaki must further consult his coalition partner, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the effort to circumvent the potential ICC prosecutions for post election crimes against humanity has met a setback. Marende has once again proven to be Kenya’s indispensable governmental authority in the absence of a will or ability of the coalition “principals” to act in concert.

Breaking: Kenyan High Court Blocks Kibaki on Unilateral Appointment of New Chief Justice, AG

Daily Nation “Court says Kibaki nominees illegal”

The High Court has declared that President Kibaki breached the Constitution when he selected four nominees for justice and budget office jobs.

Making the ruling, Justice Daniel Musinga also ordered that no no State organ should proceed with the process which sought to name a Chief Justice, an Attorney General, a Director of Public Prosecutions, and a Controller of Budget.

President Kibaki nominated Mr Alnashir Visram as CJ, Prof Githu Muigai as Attorney General, Mr Kioko Kilukumi for DPP and William Kirwa as controller of budget.

Eight non-governmental organisations had gone to court seeking to restrain any organ of state from carrying on with the process of approval and eventual appointment.


Follow the LiveText of Speaker Marende’s ruling in Parliament on whether to consider the Kibaki nominees.

He apparently will not issue a summary ruling, but the matter will be considered in committee.

After a successful constitutional referendum campaign, we seem to have reached the biggest crisis yet in the “grand coalition”.