President William Ruto on Sunday defended his foreign trips following criticism from the press and a huge section of Kenyans who have questioned whether his globetrotting represents value for the taxpayer.
Speaking during a church service in Eldoret on Sunday, the Head of State defended his travel record affirming that his trips to 45 different cities have had the desired impact with regards to job creation.
In his speech, however, the defiant President said that he is scheduled to fly out in three weeks’ time to finalise a bilateral deal aimed at securing over 350,000 jobs for Kenyans.
“Last week, I was in Saudi Arabia and they told me they are looking for 350,000 people to work there. They told me that Kenyans are the most hardworking. I will return (to Saudi) in another three weeks to sign a bilateral labour agreement,” he explained.
“Some people were questioning why I keep travelling out. I am Kenya’s chief agent tasked with planning how Kenya will move forward.”
The Head of State hinted that the 350,000 jobs he is chasing in the Middle East are part of the 2.1 million jobs he has negotiated for Kenyans in recent months.
For instance, when he travelled to the United States, Ruto revealed that America had communicated its intentions to hire 250,000 Kenyans.
According to the Head of State, Germany and Canada have also pledged a similar number of jobs.
“Germany, its President was here and told us that they have slots for 250,000 youth. In Canada, I sat down with their team and they assured me they have similar vacancies. The US has similar vacancies,” he added.
“We want to unveil nearly 1 million jobs for the youth because creating jobs must be deliberate. We are setting up Affordable Housing to create jobs.”
Government critics had earlier argued that the Head of State’s numerous trips were counter-productive. Most people argued that the trips contradict his earlier move slashing his cabinet secretaries foreign trips in an effort to save Ksh11 billion.
Last week, Ruto revealed that his cabinet secretaries will not be allowed to fly out for workshops.
“We have cut the travel budget by Ksh11 billion in all ministries or departments and not the Ksh50 million reported by the press. There will be no foreign conferences, workshops, and bench-marking for public servants,” Ruto stated at the time.
Photo of President Ruto in Kericho Green Stadium during the Mashujaa day celebrations on October 20, 2023