Former State House Director of Digital Communications Dennis Itumbi has let the cat out of the bag, sharing little known details on his frustrations working in the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU).
In a series of posts shared on his Facebook account, Itumbi sought to debunk what he termed as “lies that have been told for far too long”.
The blogger and four of his PSCU colleagues were fired in March this year after the Public Service Commission (PSC) declared their positions redundant.
Others sent home include James Kinyua (Events and Branding), Erick Ng’eno (Speechwriting and Research), David Nzioka and John Ndolo.
In an attempt to tell his fans what led to the unceremonious dismissal, Itumbi now a critic of President Uhuru Kenyatta took them back to where it all started, 2013 when Jubilee party won the highly contested presidential election.
The ardent supporter of Deputy President William Ruto claims that things were not all rosy from the onset.
After President Kenyatta was sworn into office, he wanted to create a vibrant communication team.
The head of state, Itumbi says, was looking for a suitable replacement for Isaiah Kabira, who was the head of the Presidential Press Service at the time.
The President wanted Kenyan-born and then CNN anchor Zain Verjee to take the job but she declined citing a contract extension with the international broadcaster and the need to advance her studies.
President Kenyatta later settled for Manoah Esipisu.
It’s under Esipisu’s leadership that Itumbi details frustrations that affected the delivery of the president’s communication team claiming that they once stayed for a whole year without pay.
After Esipisu’s appointment, the president’s communication unit was supposed to be unveiled the following morning. However, on the fateful day, Itumbi and his colleagues’ names were missing on the list except that of the press unit boss.
Itumbi says he sensed betrayal that reminded him of the Mwai Kibaki era when he was shortchanged after a promise that he had been picked to work at State House.
“So now in 2013, I was witnessing another moment, exactly same script, only that this time I got a salute at the gate and I was right inside, ” he said.
The trained journalist noted that he was behind the brains behind “PSCU” and its departments.
He claims that after coming up with the rebranding idea, Esipisu and Kabira declined to sign it saying “that can be done later”.
“I activated gear two and waited for the President, who signed it off. I did not go back to the duo, ” narrated Itumbi.
“They saw it as Breaking News on their phones as they took their stroll in the gardens.”
What ensued, Itumbi says, were frustrations after another as the system was “fighting back.”
“For a whole year, avoiding the details, we worked without a salary and accessed State House only on the strength of a News Release,” he said.
For the many years that Itumbi and his colleagues worked at State House, it’s alleged that they had a strained relationship with Esipisu and often ganged up against him in the course of their work an act that irked the President.
Esipisu was appointed Kenya’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (U.K) in 2018. He was replaced by former Citizen TV anchor Kanze Dena.