President Ruto downplays critics of his foreign trips, reveals more traveling plans

President William Ruto and ACK Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit. [Kimei, Standard

President William Ruto has downplayed criticisms of his foreign trips, saying he is the 'chief agent' and country's ambassador of development.

His sentiments come at a time when he is facing criticism from a section of Kenyans after it emerged that the president had travelled more than 35 times since assuming office.

During an Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) service in Eldoret, the president explained to the congregants how his foreign trips had benefits to Kenyans.

Through travelling to other countries, the president says, he is able to secure employment opportunities for young Kenyans who are grappling with unemployment.

"There are people making noise and complaining about my travelling. That is what my job as a president entails. I am the Chief agent. I am the ambassador of Kenya in matters of development. I travel for just two days to go search for employment for Kenyans you are making noise," the president said in a mix of English and Swahili.

While visiting Taita Taveta County, last Friday, President Ruto said his administration has cut foreign travel budget by Sh11 billion, adding that public servants will not be allowed to attend workshops abroad.

"We have cut the travel budget by Sh11 billion in all ministries or departments and not the Sh50 million reported by the press. There will be no foreign conferences, workshops, and bench-marking for public servants," said Ruto.

Days prior, the president made a trip to Saudi Arabia, one of the prominent Arab countries in the Middle East for the 7th edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Summit.

There he disclosed to the public that he managed to secure over 300, 000 employment opportunities for Kenyans.

In his speech on Sunday, he revealed plans to visit Saudi Arabia again in less than a month's time, to unlock more investment and employment opportunities.

At the beginning of the weekend, the president was out of the country, attending the Three Basins Climate Change Summit, making it his nearly 40th foreign trip since he was sworn in as President in September 2022.

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