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Kenyan President Defends U.S. Trip Expenses, Claims Cost Below Ksh10 Million

President William Ruto has defended the cost of using a luxury private jet for his State Visit to the United States

NAIROBI, May 30 — President William Ruto of Kenya has refuted allegations that his recent trip to the United States cost Kenyan taxpayers over Ksh200 million ($1.5 million), asserting that the actual expense was less than Ksh10 million ($77,000) due to contributions from undisclosed “friends of Kenya.”

During the annual National Prayer Breakfast at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, President Ruto addressed the contentious issue, countering claims about the exorbitant cost of his journey. “People have given all manner of figures…that the plane cost Sh200 million because the President needed to arrive in style holding Rachel’s hand,” he remarked. “You know I’m a very responsible citizen, believe me, there is no way I can spend Sh200 million. In fact, let me disclose here that it cost the Republic of Kenya less than Sh10 million.”

President Ruto explained that his office initially considered booking him on a Kenya Airways flight after learning that the least expensive chartered flight would be Ksh70 million ($538,000). However, due to the intervention of unnamed benefactors, the trip’s final cost was significantly reduced.

Despite these assertions, the President did not reveal the identities of these benefactors, leaving some questions unanswered about the transparency of the funding for his travel. His comments come amid public scrutiny and debate over government spending and the accountability of public officials.

The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event bringing together leaders from various sectors to pray and reflect on the nation’s progress and challenges. This year’s gathering provided a platform for President Ruto to address a range of issues, with the cost of his U.S. trip taking center stage in his remarks.

© All East Africa

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