Former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent arrival in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) aboard a Uganda Airlines plane has ignited a flurry of mixed reactions among Kenyans.
The visit, timed ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Felix Tshisekedi, has prompted both curiosity and criticism.
On Friday, Kenyatta touched down in DRC, setting the stage for Tshisekedi’s swearing-in ceremony scheduled for Saturday, January 20, 2024, at Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa.
Tshisekedi, having secured more than 70 percent of the total votes cast during the general elections, is poised to take the oath of office amid high expectations.
A photograph shared on Uhuru’s official social media handles depicted the former President disembarking from a Uganda Airlines plane, raising eyebrows among Kenyans.
Social media platforms quickly became a battleground of opinions, with many questioning why Kenyatta chose to fly on a plane belonging to a neighboring country when Kenya boasts its own national carrier.
Critics pointed out that Kenya Airways, the flag carrier of Kenya, could have been a more logical choice for a former head of state. Some argued that Kenyatta’s decision to use a Ugandan Airlines plane might send the wrong message about Kenya’s own aviation industry and raise questions about its capability to serve its leaders adequately.
Additionally, the choice of transportation sparked inquiries about the use of the Kenya Airforce chopper. Given Kenyatta’s background as a former commander of the Kenya Defence Forces, some questioned why he did not opt for a military aircraft, especially when such resources are typically at the disposal of former presidents.
While some defended Kenyatta’s travel choice, citing potential logistical considerations, the overall sentiment on social media showcased a mix of confusion and disappointment.
Here are some of the few comments captured by Kenyan Report;
Pauline Njoroge: Uganda Airlines! Thanks to uncle Museveni But where was Kenya Airforce?
Cornelius Ronoh: 4th President, Prof. Uhuru Kenyatta has landed safely in DRC with Uganda Airlines, and the East Africa region is delighted.
Omwamba: Yaani President Uhuru Kenyatta flew Uganda Airlines to DRC for swearing in of HE Felix Tshisekedi? Where are we heading as Kenya Airways? Weuh!
Kinuthia Pius: Not surprised that Uhuru Kenyatta used Ugandan Airlines to fly to Kinsasha for the swearing in of President Tshisekedi. Where is his patriotism?