DP Ruto’s shuttle diplomacy to cost Kenyan taxpayers hundreds of millions of shillings

DP Ruto has been to 10 African countries in a week with his delegation flying to capitals in a private jet as he woos heads of state ahead of the AU vote in January next year.

 

Deputy President William Ruto’s whirlwind tour across the continent to lobby African countries to support Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed’s bid for African Union Commission Chairperson will prove a huge tax burden to Kenyans.

The charm offensive is likely to cost Kenyans hundreds of millions of shillings.

DP Ruto has been to 10 African countries in a week with his delegation flying to capitals in a private jet as he woos heads of state ahead of the AU vote in January next year.

On Sunday, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said the government was satisfied with the progress of the shuttle diplomacy.

“You can expect to see more of the travel, as Kenya is robustly seeking an African consensus on the candidature of CS Mohamed and that can only be achieved if we reach out to all the continent’s leaders,” Esipisu said in his weekly press briefing.

African tour

Ruto has already visited Chad, the DRC, Nigeria, Algeria, Liberia, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Mali, Sierra Leone and Gabon.

According to Paramount Jets, a private jet hire company, a VIP jet flight that can carry up to 50 passengers costs between Sh1.6 and Sh2.3 million per hour.

Apart from the cost of the jet the delegation is also being paid huge daily allowances which the state meets including accommodation, meals and beverages expenses.

In 2013, between May 16 and 19, DP Ruto travelled to Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Nigeria and Gabon in a private jet which gained the popular name “Hustler’s Jet”.

A parliamentary team established that Sh18.9 million was spent on the trip, but was unable to establish the origin of invoices that showed the Office of the Deputy President paid Sh100 million.

Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka spent Sh267 million in another shuttle diplomacy across the globe on a diplomacy drive meant to transfer cases involving President Kenyatta and his deputy Ruto from the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague.

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