Did Uhuru succumb to media pressure over travel? President skips Masisi inauguration in Botswana

President Uhuru Kenyatta did not travel to Gaborone, Botswana, for the inauguration of President-elect Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Instead, he was represented by Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma at the ceremony held at the University of Botswana.

President Kenyatta, instead, spent time with students Thika School for the Visually Impaired, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala ACK Malakisi High and Nyiro Girls’ Secondary, whom he gifted buses at State House, Nairobi.

He jetted back to the country on Thursday from Saudi Arabia, where he attended the Future Investment Initiative.

The Star published a story on Wednesday reporting the President has made 31 foreign trips since he was sworn in for his second term two years ago, raising questions about value for money.

In 14 months, the President has flown to more than 30 countries including Russia, Japan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, South Sudan and the United Kingdom.

This caused an uproar among Kenyans online and offline, who queried the importance of the trips, at a time when the country is doing badly and National Treasury broke.

Until then, he was expected to Gaborone for the inauguration of Masisi.

On his election, President Kenyatta sent a message of congratulations to President Masisi of Botswana following his party’s majority.

The President termed the win as a vote of confidence by the people of Botswana in the leadership of President Masisi.

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma at the inauguration of President-elect Mokgweetsi Masisi in Gaborone on November 1. She represented President Uhuru Kenyatta / MFA

 

Masisi on Friday pledged to fight corruption by promoting transparency in the southern African country’s institutions.

“We cannot hope for neither service delivery nor achieve any of our national objectives if our institutional frameworks are not robust, transparent, and accountable and free from corruption,” Masisi said in his inauguration speech following his swearing-in by the country’s chief justice.

The speech appeared as an attack on his predecessor, who campaigned against him despited picking him as his successor 18 months ago to allow a smooth transition.

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