Iceland PM Flies On A Kenya Airways Plane, Now Everyone Is Talking About Ruto’s Costly Jet To The US

As President William Ruto’s transportation gobbles hundreds of millions of Kenyan shillings in his USA tour, Iceland’s Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson landed in Malawi “modestly” – aboard a Kenya Airways Embraer plane.

Upon arrival at the Kamuzu International Airport, Benediktsson was welcomed by Nancy Tembo, the Malawian Minister of Foreign Affairs alongside Dr. Saulos Claus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi.

A contingent of other state officials, security officers and entertainers were also on hand to welcome the Prime Minister as he disembarked from the KQ plane.

Benediktsson’s modest travel is in sharp contrast to President William Ruto’s USA trip – the Kenyan President preferred to procure the services of a private jet whose steep cost has baffled Kenyans.

Kenyan taxpayers will pay millions for President Ruto’s trip to the USA after State House chartered the Boeing 737-700 business jet operated by Royal Jet of Dubai.

Additional payment is expected for flying the aircraft from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi.

The jet left Abu Dhabi on Saturday morning and landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 12.40 pm. President Ruto left on Sunday at 9.48 pm and landed in Spain on Monday around 5.30 am.

His plane later touched down at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport shortly after 10am local time. There, he was received by Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman and a delegation of American leaders.

The aircraft has a spacious bedroom and dining area, space for meetings and conferences, VIP seats and ample luggage capacity among many other luxurious and expensive additions.

A spokesperson of the US Embassy in Nairobi denied reports that the US government will foot the private jet’s staggering bill.

He, however, said the US government would be responsible for all the bills while President Ruto is in the US. This will include transport, accommodation and food.

The only thing the Kenyan government will cater for are allowances for the Kenyan delegation and transport from the US back to Kenya.

“Just to be clear: The United States of America did not pay for President Ruto’s jet to the US,” the spokesman was quoted by the Nation.

Online, Kenyans have expressed outrage that Ruto chartered an aircraft from the Dubai-owned RoyalJet company for the trip instead of using his usual presidential plane given his government’s austerity measures and the cost-of-living crisis.

Dismissing the critics, government spokesman Isaac Mwaura lashed out at the press, saying that the benefits the trip would bring to Kenya would far outweigh the costs of the private jet.

“Kwa hivyo wewe unauliza maswali haya… hiyo maswali ni ya kipuzi kabisa. Shindwe wewe ibilisi, pepo mbaya,” said Mwaura.

“Rais ameenda kama mzee wa Kenya, kutafuta alafu wewe unauliza fare ni pesa ngapi na akirudi atarudi na zaidi ya hiyo fare mara milioni.”

Despite the Prime Minister’s low-cost movements, Iceland’s economy is one of the fastest-growing in the OECD, driven by foreign tourism and strong domestic demand.

Kenya’s, on the other hand, badly dwarfs the Icelandic economy even as the President splashes millions of dollars just on transport alone – and accompanied by a swollen team of most of whom can be classified as joyriders.

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