Gachagua Defends President Ruto’s Hefty Travel Budget As He Blames The Media

Written by on 20 June 2023

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Monday defended President William Ruto following reports that the head of state has outspent his predecessors three times more on travel.

According to the report, the office of the President has spent Ksh.2.369 billion on travel, fuel, hospitality and maintenance of motor vehicles alone for the period October 2022 to March 2023, compared to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s expenditure during the same period last year which clocked at Ksh.852 million.

Attributing to a report from the Controller Of Budget (COB), the report added that President Ruto’s office has spent Ksh.541 million for the same period on domestic and international travel compared to Uhuru’s Ksh.218.3 million for the same period last year.

Rebutting the report, DP Gachagua accused the media of lacking objectivity in reporting, arguing that as it criticizes the government on its expenditure it should also report on the gains it has made.

“Yesterday morning I found another headline saying that for the time you have been in office you (Ruto) have spent three times what your predecessors spent on local and international travel but these people were not honest enough and objective to also outline the level of activities you have carried out in that period because cost is determined by the level of activity,” he said.

“So I invite the media to find out when the President has travelled and to which country, what is the gain for the country. It is only then that you can make an objective analysis.”

The second in command was speaking at the EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement briefing at State House.

Gachagua further noted that the same “people” censuring President Ruto over his travels are the same ones complaining that he, as DP is not travelling.

“I don’t understand these people sometimes. They complain that you are travelling too much at the same time they complain that I’m not travelling,” he said.

“I don’t know which is which because I saw them complaining that since you leave me around to man the house, they say that you have stopped me from travelling and assigned me what they call useless duties. I don’t know what it is that they want to do.”

DP Gachagua went on to encourage President Ruto to continue with the travels “and bring resources for the development of this country”.

“We want to encourage you that you must continue with bilateral [and] multilateral diplomacy for the benefit of this country as you continue to locally harness resources to restore the economy of this country to where President Mwai Kibaki left us.”

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