Uhuru Pulls Out of Nigeria Trip after Public Furor over Bloated Delegation
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibichio has, however, denied the reports, describing the list of civil servants making the rounds as fake.
Citizen TV has confirmed that Deputy President William Ruto will be the one travelling to Nigeria with a lean team of nine.
The opposition had already taken the executive to task over the reports of the president taking a bloated delegation with him to Nigeria, with deputy minority leader in the National Assembly, Jakoyo Midiwo, calling on the President to take corrective action during Thursday morning’s prayer breakfast.
The national government has in the past criticized county governments for not prudently managing public resources by making unnecessary foreign trips abroad.
Among those who had been listed to travel with the President included four doctors, 22 security officers, six members of the presidential press unit, 12 officials from the ministry of foreign affairs, 11 state house members of staff, nine members of the Kenyan High Commission in Nigeria and eight support staff members.
The VIP delegation had the President, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s Ambassador to Nigeria Thomas Amolo, State House Comptroller Lawrence Lenayapa, the president’s private secretary Jomo Gecaga, Wangui Muchiri from the president’s delivery unit, and Constance Gakonyo, who is the chief of staff in the first lady’s office.
Other VIPs in the President’s delegation included the acting chief of protocol Tabu Irina, Col. Peter Njiru, who is the president’s aide de camp and Edward Mbugua who commands the presidential escort team.
The two-day trip would have cost the taxpayer not less than Sh20 million in allowances and airfare for at least 70 members of the delegation who would not have been travelling in the president’s official plane.
By Maureen Murimi