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Ruto’s promise to reduce on foreign travel

By Mercy Simiyu October 26th, 2023 2 min read

President William Ruto has opened up on plans to revise his foreign travel budget.

Speaking at an event where he flagged off vehicles for education officials at the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) in Nairobi on October 26, 2023, the Head of State said the move to reduce expenditure will free up Sh500 million to be used for initiating the production of assistive devices designed by children with disabilities.

“I am going to adjust my budget. I will knock off a few things including travel allowances so that I can find sh500 million to start the manufacture of local devices that will assist in learning by our children with special needs,” he said.

The move comes at a time when the presidency has been on the spot for frequent foreign travels.

A recent report by Taifa Leo exposed that President Ruto has attended 38 trips since he assumed power in September 2022.

These include a trip to London for the burial of Queen Elizabeth II which the President later complained of being ‘kept at the back of a bus like school kids’.

The President made his most recent trip to China and Saudi Arabia in October 2023.

In Beijing, he met and held talks with President Xi JinPing on the possibility of extending the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Naivasha to Malaba, a border town between Kenya and Uganda.

These taxpayer-funded trips by the President and his entourage have, however, brought through mixed reactions, coming at a time when Kenyans are grappling with the high cost of living brought about mainly by the higher taxes imposed by the government.

The presidential tours also come at a time when senior government officials have confessed the country is struggling to pay off its debt obligations, estimated to be at Sh10 trillion.

The foreign trips also come at a time when the government recently issued tighter regulations to be used by senior officials including Cabinet Secretaries and Governors who plan to travel abroad on official visit.

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