June 18, 2024

Ruto breaks silence over Ksh200 million jet on his US trip

3 min read
Ruto breaks silence over Ksh200 million jet on his US trip

President Ruto denies overspending taxpayers' money in his 4-day US trip over Ksh200 million jet

President Ruto denies overspending taxpayers’ money in his 4-day US trip over Ksh200 million jet.

Speaking to VOA Africa, President Ruto dismissed the rumoured amount, stating that the numbers were exaggerated. He said he was careful about spending resources.

“I think the expenditure on my trip is completely exaggerated. They actually border on ridiculous. I am very careful about the resources that I spend,” said Ruto.

The unverified cost of the trip sparked reactions online, with Kenyans accusing the president of extravagance in his travel to meet US President Joe Biden.

However, Ruto explained that the Kenya Kwanza government had toned down on funding to his office and other government agencies to re-channel the resources to spur the economy.

“In fact, I have cut down on funding to my office, and to different government agencies. I have reduced by 30% recurrent expenditure in this budget so that we can accommodate living within our means and we can push more resources to the realm of development, education, providing health and doing the things that matter including cash transfers to citizens,” the Head of State explained.

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Kenya’s president’s usual mode of transport out of the country is a presidential jet, a 30-year old Fokker 70 extended range christened Harambee one with a carrying capacity of 26 passengers that can only fly five hours non-stop.

He opted for a chartered jet, a Boeing 737-700 business jet from the Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet group a premium private aviation company. 

A quotation from the operator published by KTN showed that hiring a similar bird costs Ksh 100 million for a one-way trip that carries 34 passengers and a return journey would also cost the same amount. 

Details showed that the plane could cost more than Ksh 2 million per hour and this would vary depending on routing, scheduling, and number of passengers, among other details. There is also take-off and landing tax and parking depending on costs at different airports. 

According to the specifications of the ultra-modern plane, it can host 34 passengers, eight of them being VIPs, and an executive bedroom, among others. The plane flies for 10 hours straight.

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