Kenyan President Exposed for Expensive Trip to US

( – Kenyan President William Ruto is drawing flak for supposedly splurging on a state visit to the United States.

Media outfits in Kenya reported that Ruto, who opted to charter a private plane for the Kenyan delegation to fly to the U.S., paid $1.2 million to RoyalJet, a charter company based out of Dubai. Critics of the Kenyan President said that it would have been cheaper for him to have flown through national carrier Kenya Airways, where the round-trip cost for the Kenyan delegation – on business class seats – would only supposedly amount to roughly $300,000.

Ruto defended his decision, however, saying that the private plane was the cheaper option, saying that he only paid $76,000 for the U.S. trip.

Other critics have also pointed out the size of the Kenyan delegation to the three-day state visit to the U.S., noting that Ruto’s entourage was comprised of 30 people, which included actors, musicians, and a comedian.

The criticism of the African president’s spending comes on the heels of his own call to reduce government spending. Ruto’s administration recently embarked on a campaign to increase taxes in Kenya, prompting many to call out the government for making unnecessary expenditures at the expense of its people.

Ruto has been largely unfazed by naysayers, however, claiming that he is a “responsible steward” of taxpayer funds.

Ruto’s state visit to the U.S. marks the first time an African leader has visited America in more than three decades. President Joe Biden rolled out the red carpet for Ruto’s visit, as the U.S. has designated Kenya as a major non-NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) ally, and considers the country a strategic partner in countering Russia’s growing influence in Africa. Biden himself was all praises for Ruto, lauding the latter’s “bold leadership” in Kenya. The two discussed a number of issues, including Kenya’s pending deployment of troops to help quell violence in Haiti, where armed gangs have managed to take over large chunks of the Caribbean country’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

The visit also saw Ruto manage to secure billions of dollars’ worth of investment commitments.

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