Kenya: Ruto Says 'Friends' Offered Him Private Jet to the U.S. for Sh10mn

President William Ruto

Nairobi — President William Ruto secured the private jet State House chartered for his State Visit to the United States for Sh10 million after making a Sh20 million offer.

Ruto who revisited the matter amid a raging debate on the RoyaJet-owned plane said "friends" offered the aircraft after he opted to travel commercial on Kenya Airways (KQ) having turned down a request for a Sh70 million charter, the cheapest he said State House could find.

The Head of State argued that Kenya's reputation informed the gesture by the undisclosed friends. It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to individuals in Abu Dhabi where RoyalJet operates from, or the Gulf State itself.

"When I saw the debate on how I travelled to the US and there was all manner of figures people saying it cost Sh200 million because I am the president and I needed to arrive in style holding Rachel's (First Lady's) hand," he stated during the annual National Prayer Breakfast at Safari Park in Nairobi on Thursday.

"I am a very responsible steward, there's no way I can spend Sh200 million. Let me disclose that it cost us less than Sh10 million," President Ruto said.

"When some friends of mine heard that I was going to travel with Kenya Airways and we have built big reputations as the country, they asked how much I'd pay, and after saying no more than Sh20 million they said they'd take Sh10 million," he stated.

President Ruto insisted that he was serious with austerity measures instituted by his government citing a 30 per cent cut in recurrent spending taken by State House, the Office of the Deputy President, and the Prime Cabinet Secretary.

"Look at me very well. I must lead from the front. As I tell others to tighten their belts mine must be where to begin. So relax and the debate must end because I am that responsible," he noted.

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