President William Ruto has finally addressed the cost of his travel to the United States of America (USA) following concerns raised by Kenyans.

In a tweet on the X platform on Sunday, May 26, the Head of State claimed that the cost he used in traveling to the US was cheaper than using Kenya Airways

“Fellow Kenyans, I have noted concerns about my mode of transport to the USA. As a responsible steward of public resources and in keeping with my determination for us to live within our means and that I should lead from the front in so doing, the cost was less than travelling on KQ,” Ruto stated.

For most of his trips, President Ruto has been using the presidential jet, a 30-year-old Fokker 70 extended range christened Harambee one with a carrying capacity of 26 passengers.

However, while travelling to the US, he opted for a chartered jet, a Boeing 737-700 business jet from the Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet group.

Reports would later emerge that hiring a similar bird costs Ksh100 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 Ksh2 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.

Following the backlash, the US government denied reports that it had paid for the aircraft used by Ruto and his delegation.

“Just to be clear, the United States of America did not pay for President Ruto’s jet to the US,” an official from the US Embassy disclosed.

The Head of State was accompanied by more than 30 people for the US Visit including Governors, Comedians, MPs, and Business leaders.

During the visit, President Ruto secured different deals worth  Billions of Shillings. Coca-Cola committed to investing Ksh23 billion ($175 million) over the next five years in the Kenyan market.

Microsoft Corporation and G42, an Emirati artificial intelligence (AI) development company, pledge to invest Ksh132 billion in Kenya’s digital economy.

The President also secured $3.6 billion (Sh 477 billion) in funding from the US for the construction of the 440-kilometer Nairobi-Mombasa Usahihi Expressway.

The U.S. also announced that Kenya would receive 16 U.S.-manufactured helicopters between late 2024 and 2025 to bolster its ability to provide regional peace.


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