June 24, 2024
"I think ... completely exaggerated." - William Ruto Refutes Overspending During 4-Day State Trip To The US

“I think … completely exaggerated.” – William Ruto Refutes Overspending During 4-Day State Trip To The US

President William Ruto has denied misusing government money during his four-day state visit to the United States of America, which began on May 19.

The unconfirmed cost of the trip provoked outrage online, with Kenyans accusing the president of overspending in his visit to see US President Joe Biden.

Speaking to VOA Africa, President Ruto denied the rumours, claiming that the figures were inflated. He claimed to be frugal with his finances.

“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.

Ruto noted that the Kenya Kwanza government had reduced financing for his office and other government institutions in order to redirect resources to boost 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.

Kenya’s president’s preferred form of transportation out of the nation is a presidential aircraft, a 30-year-old Fokker 70 extended range named Harambee with a carrying capacity of 26 passengers and a maximum nonstop flight time of five hours.

He chose a chartered aircraft, a Boeing 737-700 business jet from the Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet Group, a premium private aviation company. 

According to a quote from the operator released by KTN, hiring a similar bird costs Ksh 100 million for a one-way flight with 34 passengers, and the same amount is charged for a return voyage. 

Details indicated that the plane could cost more than Ksh 2 million each hour.

However, this would vary according to routing, timing, and passenger count, among other factors.

There is also a takeoff and landing tax, as well as parking fees, which vary by airport. 

According to its specifications, the ultra-modern plane can accommodate 34 passengers, eight of whom are VIPs, as well as an executive bedroom. The plane flies for ten hours straight.

“I think … completely exaggerated.” – William Ruto Refutes Overspending During 4-Day State Trip To The US

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