President William Ruto revealed that the private plane he used for his recent trip to the US cost only about Kes. 10 million ($73,000)....READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

While refuting criticism of extravagance, Ruto explained that unnamed friends offered the plane at a cheaper price than the national carrier, Kenya Airways.

Ruto asserted that there was no way he could have spent a reported $1.5 million (Kes. 195,375,000) to hire the Boeing 737-700 VIP plane.

Speaking at a National Prayer Breakfast event in Nairobi on Thursday, a bullish Ruto stated that he was informed the cheapest plane would cost about $530,000 (Kes. 69,032,500). He claimed he instructed his office to book Kenya Airways for himself and his entourage of about 30 people.

But when “some friends” learned he was planning to travel on a commercial flight, he said they inquired about his budget for a hired plane.

“We have built a big reputation as a country and we have built friends… I said I was not ready to pay more than [$1.53m]. They said bring [$73,000], we’ll give you the plane,”Ruto remarked.

The President insisted he would not allow the misuse of taxpayers’ money.

“I must lead from the front as I tell others to tighten their belt; mine must be where it begins. So relax and the debate must end,”he said.

While Ruto did not disclose the friends that offered a cheaper jet charter, State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohammed confirmed to the media that it was the United Arab Emirates Government.

“As explained by the President on Thursday, the cost of the jet he traveled in 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 Ksh10 million,”Hussein said in a statement.

State House affirmed that the private jet offer demonstrates how nations operate, supporting and partnering with each other for mutual prosperity, while providing numerous examples to illustrate the cooperation.

Hussein cited a previous instance where the UAE government helped Kenya as a show of friendship by donating six military-grade FENNEC helicopters and three ECUREUIL trainer aircraft.

According to Hussein, the donation included accompanying servicing spares, spare parts, and tools, cumulatively valued at Kes.4 billion….CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

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