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Kenya’s Ruto Defends Hiring Private Jet For US Trip

KENYA’S President William Ruto has defended his decision to hire a private jet for his recent trip to the United States, citing the need to cut costs. This statement comes amid public concerns and media reports suggesting the expenditure amounted to KSh200 million ($1.5 million).

Ruto was hosted by President Joe Biden on May 23 for a state visit, marking the first visit by an African leader to the US since 2008.

‘Fellow Kenyans, I have noted concerns on my mode of transport to the USA. As a responsible steward of public resources and in keeping with my determination for us to live within our means, I should lead from the front in so doing,’ Ruto said on the social network X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday. ‘The cost was less than travelling on KQ [Kenya Airways].’


In response to the criticism, Ruto addressed the issue in a recent interview with the Voice of America, labelling the reported $1.5 million private jet cost as ‘exaggerated’ and ‘ridiculous.’

The Kenyan government’s decision to hire the private jet from a United Arab Emirates (UAE) company has sparked debate, with many questioning the prudence of such expenditure amidst ongoing economic challenges in the country.

Ruto’s emphasis on cost-cutting measures is part of his broader strategy to streamline government spending and ensure fiscal responsibility. However, the public’s reaction indicates a demand for greater transparency and accountability regarding government expenses.

This state visit aimed to strengthen diplomatic ties and foster economic cooperation between Kenya and the United States, with both leaders discussing various bilateral issues.

As Kenya continues to navigate its economic landscape, President Ruto’s actions and decisions, including travel expenditures, will likely remain under close scrutiny from both the public and political analysts.

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