UAE offered William Ruto chartered jet for US trip, State House says

US trip

The jet President Ruto used on the US trip. State House says taxpayers paid less than Sh10 million.

Photo credit: Photo | Pool

The United Arab Emirates Government offered President William Ruto the chartered jet he used on his recent US trip at less than Sh10 million, State House has said.

In a statement, State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed on Thursday termed the means "the most efficient, and economical".

“As explained by the President on Thursday, the cost of the jet he travelled in (sic) for the historic and successful US State visit was offered by friends of Kenya at a relatively low cost. In this specific case, the United Arab Emirates Government offered the aircraft at less than Sh10 million,” read the statement.  

Earlier in the day, Dr Ruto had disclosed that the jet cost taxpayers less than Sh10 million after some "friends of Kenya" co-sponsored the trip when he offered to travel with Kenya Airways.

Speaking during the annual National Prayer Breakfast at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, the Head of State dismissed claims that he spent more than Sh200 million on the trip.

"People have given all manner of figures...that the plane cost Sh 200 million because the president needed to arrive in style holding Rachel's hand. 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," he said.

In the State House statement, Mr Mohamed indicated that "Kenya has friends, and their interest is to have a secure partner state with which they can trade, invest, and collaborate"’

“This is how nations operate, supporting and partnering with each other for mutual prosperity, and there are plenty of examples to illustrate this.”

But Dr Ruto's explanations have done little to stop the growing criticism by the Opposition and ordinary Kenyans who want the president to come clean on the trip that his detractors have termed "extravagant".