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Ruto says he is not a tourist: Defends foreign trips

By Mercy Simiyu December 10th, 2023 2 min read

In a staunch rebuttal to recent criticism from opposition chief Raila Odinga, President William Ruto has defended his numerous foreign trips, asserting that he is not a mere tourist but a conscientious leader with a purpose behind his travels.

Speaking at a church congregation in Lari Constituency, Kiambu County, on Sunday, December 10, Ruto underlined that his global travels have a clear objective – the pursuit of job opportunities and the establishment of strategic partnerships.

This comes in response to Raila’s concerns about Kenyan youths being sent abroad for employment.

“I saw recently the leader of the opposition complaining that many youths are being sent abroad to work. Did he want them to remain here in Kenya, doing what?” Ruto questioned during the Sunday church service.

He emphasised that reports of his travels around the world must be viewed in the context of a well-defined plan, refuting any suggestions that he is merely a tourist.

“Reports of my travels around the world have circulated, but it’s important to note that I embark on these journeys with a well-defined plan; I am not merely a tourist,” Ruto affirmed, countering Raila’s characterisation of him as a globetrotting leader burning taxpayers’ money during challenging economic times.

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Ruto went on to set the record straight, asserting that his overseas trips are strategically aligned with benefiting the people of Kenya.

He disclosed ongoing discussions with countries like America, Germany, and Saudi Arabia, with plans for many Kenyan youths to secure opportunities abroad.

“If someone gets a job in Israel and earns a salary of Sh100,000, is there a problem? Let me tell him that more will be leaving the country,” Ruto stated, defending his international engagements.

Raila has recently criticised Ruto over his foreign trips, terming the head of state a globetrotting leader burning away taxpayers’ money at a time when the economy is weighed down.

However, President Ruto fired back, insisting that his overseas trips are aimed at benefiting the people of Kenya.

“For this country to develop, there must be a plan and leadership. That is why, even as we talk today, our CS for Labour is in Saudi Arabia because we want to plan on how our youth will get jobs everywhere,” Ruto asserted, highlighting the strategic importance of international collaborations for the country’s development.