Hussein Mohamed: UAE provided private jet Ruto used for US trip


• In a statement Thursday evening, spokesperson Hussein Mohamed said the jet cost less than Sh10 million.

Hussein Mohamed

The United Arab Emirates provided the jet President William Ruto used during his recent state visit to the United States visit, State House has said.

In a statement Thursday evening, spokesperson Hussein Mohamed said the jet cost less than Sh10 million.

He said it's common place for nations to operate by supporting and partnering with each other for mutual prosperity.

Mohamed said during her operations on the international multilateral arena, Kenya operates as a friend, partner and ally to many countries.

"As explained by the President on Thursday, the cost of the jet he travelled in for the historic and successful US State visit was offered by friends of Kenya at a relatively low cost," he said.

"In this specific case, the United Arab Emirates Government offered the aircraft at less than Sh10 million." 

Mohamed said the jet was the most efficient and economical way for the President and his delegation to undertake the trip for under Sh10 million.

The State House spokesperson said the President continues to lead from the front in implementing austerity measures to ensure Kenya lives within her means.

"He is encouraged by government ministries, departments and agencies to take the cue and is on course to ensure Kenya records a balanced budget in three years," Mohamed added.

He said the US trip incident was ot the first time Kenya received donations from UAE.

He cited an incident in 2018 when the Gulf state donated six military-grade FENNEC helicopters and three ECUREUIL trainer aircraft to Kenya.

The donation, he said, included accompanying servicing spares, spare parts and tools cumulatively valued at Sh4 billion.

Currently, Mohamed said the US offered to donate 16 helicopters and 150 Armoured Security Vehicles under an agreement signed between the two countries during the President's State visit.

These include 150 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles which are scheduled for delivery in September 2024.

Eight utility helicopters will be delivered in September 2024 while eight light utility helicopters will be delivered by early 2025, he added.

"Yes, Kenya has friends and their interest is to have a secure partner state with which they can trade, invest and collaborate," Mohamed affirmed.

Owing to her friendliness, the spokesman said Kenya decided in 2023 to send military aid to the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of an East African force at its own expense to help stabilise the rebel troubled country and the region in general.

On Thursday during the National Prayer Breakfast, Ruto said “some friends” of the country offered the private jet for his US trip.

In his remarks, Ruto said there was “no way” he could have spent about $1.5m (almost Sh200m) - the figure that was reported to have cost to hire the Boeing 737-700 VIP plane.

But the remarks provoked backlash from a section of leaders and Kenyans with some users online asking who the friends were.

Ruto went to the US last week on a three-day official state visit - the first such trip by an African leader in more than 15 years.

While there, he secured investment deals worth billions of dollars for Kenya.

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