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More interesting facts about the “City Hopper” that carried President Ruto  

by Joshua Wanga
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The London presidential bus ride which has been epitomised by a grinning William Ruto flashing a wide smile from the backseat of the bus has elicited many assumptions and allegations as well. However, what remains unknown to most are some of the facts behind everything.

Despite yesterday’s misconception that only African leaders were shepherded into a bus in a show reeking of racism, this was required of all world leaders. This protocol role began earlier where leaders were required to leave their presidential jets behind and fly into England on commercial flights.

Foreign leaders and dignitaries who traveled to London for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral were bused to Westminster Abbey for the service on Monday, but one head of state was conspicuously absent from coach travel: Joe Biden.

Accompanied by first lady Jill Biden, the US president, flying on Air Force One, touched down at London Stansted Airport on Saturday night.

On Monday, his large motorcade pulled into Westminster Abbey for the state funeral as people lined the streets for the procession. Meanwhile, other world leaders traveled there in buses arranged by the UK government.

The Queen’s funeral was a massive security and operational undertaking, expected to cost British taxpayers a hefty sum.

Transportation requirements for foreign leaders caused a mini controversy when Politico reported last week that the government had barred world leaders from flying into the UK on their private jets and taking their personal vehicles to the service. Instead, they were told to take commercial flights and board shuttle buses.

Prime Minister Liz Truss’s spokesperson later told Politico that it was merely guidance and not a requirement for heads of state.

Biden ended up shunning the guidance, as many had expected. But other world leaders opted for the buses, including Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Kenyan President William Ruto, Malaysian Agong Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Polish President Andrzej Duda, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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