Since Dr William Ruto was sworn in as the President of the Republic of Kenya on September 13, a communication battle has been simmering behind the scenes in the Kenya Kwanza Coalition government.
Only days after the inauguration of Dr Ruto and DP Rigathi Gachagua, members of the coalition’s presidential campaign communication team have been angling for top jobs, especially who will become the next State House Spokesman after Kanze Dena exits office.
One of the key posts the UDA and Kenya Kwanza communicators have been angling for is the coveted State House Spokesman position that keeps one always by the president’s side.
On the frontline in the race for State House Spokesman is former Citizen Tv anchor Hussein Mohamed and blogger and Hustler Nation Intelligence Bureau (HNIB) creator Dennis Itumbi.
Hussein, who joined Dr Ruto as the head of his presidential communication on January 24, seems to be the favourite of the Head of State and he appears to have his close attention.
The main role of Hussein, who quit Citizen tv in 2019 after a 10-year career, entailed drafting and spearheading communication sent out from the presidential campaign.
On the other hand, the street-smart Itumbi has worked overtime to prove his mettle in the digital space for the benefit of Dr Ruto during the just ended fierce presidential campaigns.
Itumbi, a former State House Digital Director before his contract was terminated on March 18, 2020, led the Kenya Kwanza coalition social media battle in the presidential campaign.
The battle between the two played out online on Tuesday as a section of bloggers rooted for Itumbi while another pushed for Hussein, who shared a photo in which he is seen strolling on the New York streets with President Ruto to elicit his closeness to power.
Another scribe also said to be eyeing the post is Emmanuel Talam, former Standard Group Editor, who has been the Director of Communication in the Deputy President’s Office.
Talam holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies from the University of Nairobi (UoN) and a post-graduate diploma from the coveted Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC).
Wanjohi Githae, who formerly worked at Nation Media Group before being appointed as the UDA Head of Communications on April 30, 2021, is also crossing his fingers for the post.
Githae, who also worked as a political reporter at MediaMax’s People Daily briefly before he was laid off during a restructuring process, boasts of a media career spanning over 15 years.
Sources in Kenya Kwanza tell Swala Nyeti there are camps - political, ethnic and business, throwing their weights behind particular candidates hoping to benefit from their appointments, with some candidates eyeing alternative positions in case they don't secure the coveted position in the House on the Hill.
They are now said to be pouring their libations to the ancestors while having very close natters with their God or gods as they await President Ruto’s announcement of his list of names to the cabinet and other key positions in his new “Hustler” administration.