Nairobi Governor Denies Being Blacklisted by US Over Graft

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja speaking on Wednesday July 5, 2023
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja speaking on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.
Johnson Sakaja

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has clarified his absence during the signing of transport deals touching on the county government during President William Ruto's trip to the United States.

Claims that the governor has been sanctioned by the US over corruption allegations have been rife after speculations emerged that a Kenyan governor had been blocked from travelling to the North American country. 

Sakaja has rejected claims, noting that he is actually meeting potential investors with President Ruto in the US without divulging much details. 

Speaking to, Nairobi County Director of Communication, Pricilla Wangui Maina explained that the Nairobi County Governor had no visa restrictions as alleged.

President William Ruto (Centre) and Nairobi County Governor Johnson Sakaja (Second-right) during a meeting in New York on Wednesday, September 20, 2023.

"I am in New York meetings, United States, rooting for youth involvement in the Climate Action agenda and other key policies for sustainability," Sakaja stated. 

Maina also remarked that the Nairobi County Governor was part of the delegation that signed a number of deals, including Millennium Challenge Cooperation.

"I have been attending several engagements on the sidelines of UNGA78, including a climate action leadership conversation graced by President William Ruto and hosted by Fauna and Flora International at Central Park, New York," Sakaja noted.

"At the event, titled Primed For Leadership: Africa's Opportunity For Green Growth and A Nature Positive Future, I joined World Resources MD for Africa and Global Partnerships, Wanjira Mthai and Fauna and Flora International Chief Executive Officer Kristian Teleki."

Sakaja witnessed the signing of Ksh8.8 billion (US$ 60M) grant for promoting e-mobility in the capital.

The grant was offered under the Millennium Challenge Cooperation Programme but will be implemented by Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) and Nairobi City County.

The money will be used to establish the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) using electric buses. 

BRT is a high-capacity bus-based transit system that helps cut traffic congestion in busy urban centres.  

BRT systems are designed to be fast, efficient, and affordable. 

The Nairobi BRT is being implemented in phases. The first phase, which is currently underway, involves the construction of Line 3, a 12-kilometer corridor that will cross the city center of Nairobi from east to west. Line 3 is expected to be operational in 2025.

The remaining four BRT corridors are planned to be constructed in subsequent phases.

A Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) station under construction along Thika Road at Safari Park footbridge
A Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) station under construction along Thika Road at Safari Park footbridge
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