, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Deputy President William Ruto’s office has released documents to support their assertion that a jet which took him on a tour of four African nations was a one-off hire at a cost of Sh18.5 million and not Sh100 million as reported.
The documents include an invoice from the charter company whose jet the deputy president used on the trip.
The invoice from VistaJet shows the deputy president’s office was billed on May 16, the departure date. It was for a round trip from Nairobi-Brazzaville-Libreville-Abuja-Nairobi.
Ruto’s office says he went to Congo Brazzaville, Gabon and Nigeria. He was to travel to Algeria but went to Ghana instead.
In addition to the invoice, the deputy president’s office also released two quotations from ABM Aviation and LadyLori Kenya which submitted competing charter bids.
The quotations which were also received on May 16 appear to corroborate the government’s assertion that they would have cost the tax payer more – ABM quoted about Sh19,375,698 and LadyLori Sh19,658,269.
The deputy president’s office adds that had a commercial flight been used by Ruto and those who accompanied him, the bill would have come to Sh20,725,799 and the trip would have taken six instead of three days.
“A comparative quotation was provided by a local travel agent indicating that the cost to the four African destinations using regular commercial flights would be Sh20,725,799 (USD 247,767) and would take six days to complete,” a statement from the deputy president’s office reads.
The statement continues to explain that given a choice between a private jet and commercial flights, the jet not only scored higher on account of the cost but security as well.
“The aircraft provided by E-ADC Vista Jet EA Company had comparatively better security requirements and safety features therefore providing the best value at the lowest cost for the trip.”
The deputy president’s office goes on to explain that, “the plane the deputy president used did not have a bed. It did not have a meeting room. It did not have a shower and it did not have a kitchen other than the cabin crew facility to serve.”