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Saturday, May 29, 2021 – Another scandal may be in the offing after Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo hired a private jet for shuttle diplomacy trips to various African countries. 

In an internal memo, Omamo asked three directors to charter a plane for her trips.

“I would prefer if we conducted these visits in the same manner in which my colleagues are proceeding and try to do day trips only using a charter flight and consider visiting two capitals in a day if possible,” the memo read in part.

When reached for comment yesterday, Omamo refused to comment on her clandestine missions or even justification for chartering a plane.

Instead, she demanded to know how the media learnt about the trip and how they got hold of the memo from the ministry.

“Who told you that? Are you in the ministry? So, how do you get an internal memo from my ministry? Who did you get it from? 

“You cannot start collecting internal memos from my ministry,” the CS said.

“That is an outrage and I will not have that,” she added.

According to the memo, Omamo planned to visit presidents of three countries to deliver “any message” that President Uhuru Kenyatta “may have” and hold talks with other foreign ministers. 

In one trip, Omamo was expected to meet a Major General and deliver Uhuru’s message.

In another trip, the CS would visit African Union Commission chairperson Musa Faki to discuss the ongoing crisis in Chad and other conflict hot spots.

She would also meet the AU peace and security commissioner to discuss Amisom and other peace and security issues.

Omamo was to meet the AU commissioner in charge of health for an update on the regional CDC agreement and the next steps.

In another trip, the CS would witness the installation of Kenya’s ambassador.

The agenda also involved a meeting with key officials of the Sudanese government, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs and other members of the transitional government

The CS would also call on the prime minister and head of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and deliver Uhuru’s mystery message.

She would hold talks to explore new areas of co-operation between Kenya and Khartoum, including in agriculture and migration.

The revelations have shone the spotlight on the ministry’s expenditure on diplomatic trips whose success rates are questionable. 

A mid-size jet that can carry between eight and 10 people can cost between Sh460,000 to Sh642,000 per hour.

In 2013, the office of Deputy President William Ruto paid Sh25 million to Vista Jet for the DP and his entourage of 15 officials to use a plane on a campaign against the International Criminal Court; a move that raised a storm.

The Kenyan DAILY POST

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