Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has strongly condemned the US government for slapping him with a travel ban over alleged corruption.
The Joe Biden administration on Thursday declared Sonko and his family as persona non grata in the US over what they termed as significant corruption during his tenure as Nairobi governor.
The U.S. Department of State claimed Sonko “solicited bribes and kickbacks in exchange for awarding government contracts to his associates”.
The ban affects Sonko’s immediate family: his wife Primrose Mwelu Nyamu Mbuvi; their daughters Saumu Agnes Mbuvi and Salma Wanjiru Mbuvi; as well as Sonko’s minor child.
Sonko was swift in his response, taking to social media to tell the US that they have bigger fish to fry like Russia President Vladimir Putin.
“Let them deal with Russia and Putin and leave me alone!” Sonko said in a video on his Facebook page.
The flamboyant politician maintained his innocence saying he has not been convicted of any of the charges leveled against him.
Sonko also questioned why he is the only Kenyan politician to be banned despite there being several others facing corruption charges.
The former county boss also claimed the ban by the US is a political witchhunt, coming just a day after he announced he will be defending his seat in the August election.
“Why is this coming out a day after I said that I’ll be defending my seat in August?” he posed.
“The move is obviously politically motivated by my political rivals to deny my right as a Kenyan Citizen to prove that I am indeed innocent,” he said.
Sonko also mentioned he is not interested in traveling to the U.S and had not applied to travel.
“I’m not interested in going to the US, to do what? I’ve never applied to go. I’ll go to Qatar to watch the World Cup or to Dubai…Why should I go to the US? I can go to China for shopping,” he said.