In recent news, Deputy President William Ruto has defended his frequent travels amid criticism, emphasizing the diplomatic gains for Kenya. Ruto responded to accusations from opposition leader Raila Odinga, who criticized him for not focusing on job creation for Kenyan graduates but instead undertaking trips abroad.

During a church service in Kimende, Kiambu County, President Ruto refuted claims of being a tourist, asserting that his foreign visits are purposeful and part of a comprehensive plan. He highlighted the importance of strategic thinking and planning for the country’s transformation.

Ruto pointed to bilateral agreements signed during his trips, emphasizing their potential to create job opportunities for Kenyans, particularly through work abroad. He cited the example of the Minister of Labor, Florence Bore, currently in Saudi Arabia to explore employment prospects for Kenyan youth.

Addressing the criticism of the cost of his travels, Ruto defended the expenditures by linking them to tangible benefits for the nation. He mentioned the housing project in Rukuma, the ICT hub, and job opportunities created through international collaborations as outcomes of his diplomatic engagements.

Despite the defense from Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who urged Ruto to continue his foreign visits until a solution to Kenya’s economic challenges is found, opposition voices remain critical. Critics argue that the substantial costs associated with these trips have not yielded sufficient benefits for the country.

The controversy surrounding Ruto’s travels has also put Cabinet Secretaries in a challenging position when defending the President’s actions. For instance, Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza faced a hostile crowd in Kitui, struggling to justify Ruto’s track record and foreign trips. The crowd expressed frustration, accusing the President of seeking loans abroad due to the government’s financial constraints.

In the face of criticism, Ruto and his team continue to emphasize the long-term benefits and diplomatic successes arising from his international engagements. The debate over whether these travels are justified or if tangible benefits will materialize for the country remains a contentious issue among Kenyans.