Nairobi governor Mike Gideon Mbuvi appears with other suspects accused of corruption, at the Mililani law court in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 9, 2019.
Nairobi governor Mike Gideon Mbuvi appears with other suspects accused of corruption, at the Mililani law court in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 9, 2019.

The flamboyant governor of Kenya's capital city has pleaded not guilty to a list of corruption charges that include embezzlement and money laundering.

Mike Gideon Mbuvi was arraigned before the anti-corruption court Monday in Nairobi.

Mbuvi is a member of President Uhuru Kenyatta's ruling Jubilee Party.

Because of his glitzy lifestyle, Mbuvi is known by the name "Sonko" which mean "rich" in Swahili. He often wears expensive gold and diamond jewelry.  The French news agency AFP says the politician has also been known to wear golden shoes and is the owner of a fleet of gold-colored cars.

In the slums of Nairobi, Mbuvi commands a lot of support because he has presented himself as a defender of the poor, one who of provides useful projects and jobs.

Security was tight at the courthouse in anticipation of a demonstration by Mbuvi's supporters.

Corruption has run rampant in Kenya for decades.  Successive presidents have vowed to combat it, but critics say there is no commitment for the fight.

The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International ranked Kenya among the most corrupt countries.