State House defends Uhuru’s ‘excessive’ foreign travel


State House defends Uhuru's 'excessive' foreign travel
File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta during a past trip abroad. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Waita on Wednesday defended the Head of State's trips abroad saying they are part and parcel of his job.
  • According to the State House of Chief of Staff, foreign travel is meant to advance the country's "agenda and sphere of influence."

State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita has downplayed emerging concerns over President Uhuru Kenyatta’s numerous foreign trips despite the country’s financial struggle.

Waita on Wednesday defended the Head of State’s trips abroad saying they are part and parcel of his job.

According to the State House of Chief of Staff, foreign travel is meant to advance the country’s “agenda and sphere of influence.”

“One of President Kenyatta’s duties as Head of State is to position Kenya as a force for good and a thought leader in the community of Nations. A duty he has discharged extremely effectively. Foreign travel to advance Kenya’s agenda and sphere of influence is simply part of the job,” said Waita in a tweet.

Waita was speaking in an apparent reference to media reports indicating that Kenyatta has made 31 foreign trips over the last 21 months, with questions being raised on whether there has been value for money.

This is not the first time President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trips abroad are raising eyebrows. He has previously been branded the “tourist president,” but the government has remained adamant that the trips are of benefit to the country.

Over the last 10 days, President Kenyatta and his entourage have flown to Tokyo, Japan and Sochi, Russia in a luxury private jet.

This week he left the country for Saudi Arabia to attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference after which he is expected to visit Botswana.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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