Kenyan Leader Says Private Jet Cheaper Option

Kenya's President William Ruto has come in for widespread criticism after saying the private jet he used to fly to the US last week was cheaper than using the national airline.

He did not, however, say how much the jet had cost, or how much it would have cost on Kenya Airways.

"The facts that are out in the public do not seem to bear him out," political analyst Prof Herman Manyora told the BBC.

Senior opposition figure Eugene Wamalwa told local media that the president's remarks were "unpatriotic".

He said the president should instead have used the opportunity to market Kenya Airways.

Mr Ruto went to the US on a three-day official state visit - the first such trip by an African leader in more than 15 years.

While he was there, Kenya secured a number of investment deals worth billions of dollars.

The country was also designated by the US as a major non-North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) ally, cementing its position as one of the US's closest security partners in Africa.

But the use of a luxury jet for the US trip has continued to spark criticism, prompting the president to respond.

On Sunday, a day after returning to the country, Mr Ruto defended himself as a "steward of public resources".

"In keeping with my determination for us to live within our means and that I should lead from the front in so doing, the cost was less than travelling on [Kenya Airways]," he said on X (formerly Twitter).

Kenya Airways has not commented regarding the cost.

But it has dismissed as fake a widely circulated statement that purports to show that using the airline would have been cheaper for the president.

Despite his explanation, many Kenyans have criticised the president.