The debate over who should lead the country in the absence of President Uhuru Kenyatta has been a subject of contention for long, as many pitted Matiang’i against Deputy President William Ruto.
On Friday, February 7, Matiang’i landed in Kabarak, Nakuru County, to assess preparations for the burial of the late Mzee Daniel Arap Moi, Kenya’s second president. He landed in style, inside a Kenya Air Force jet, raising questions from Kenyans whether he had used the presidential jet.
“Matiang’i just disembarked from the official president jet and I am thinking out loud. I have never seen a secretary ever since using this jet, let alone the deputy president! This level of trust President Uhuru has for Matiang’i is on another level,” one Amakanji Thomas was perplexed.
“This is what I mean when I tell you some people are in government but not in power,” David Maina added.
However, Matiang’i did not use the presidential jet. Kenyatta’s official jet is a Fokker ER 7, estimated to be worth over Ksh2 billion.
The plane is managed by Kenya Air Force, and was acquired in 1995 to boost VVIP transport.
The words Republic of Kenya are vividly inscribed on the plane (unlike in the jet Matiang’i used which was branded Kenya Air Force), which has a speed of 845km per hour and a range of 3,410km.
The medium-sized plane was made in the Netherlands and it is believed that its cabin crew is trained abroad. The plane Matiang’i used was smaller in size compared to the official presidential jet.
It is considered as one of the most expensive presidential planes in Africa.
The jet Matiang’i uses is the same plane DP Ruto has used in a number of official tours. It is also managed by Kenya Air Force.
In 2019, Ruto used it to travel to Wajir County, where he’s commissioned several government projects.
During Mashujaa Day celebrations held in Mombasa on December 20, 2019, Ruto travelled to the county using the same plane.