, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 12 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced his intent to overhaul how government communicates and interacts with citizens by establishing the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU).
PSCU will replace the Presidential Press Service (PPS) that was largely tasked with covering the president.
PSCU will be charged with covering President Kenyatta, the First Lady, research on policy, communication of government policy, digitisation of government communications and branding State events and functions.
In a major departure from tradition, the new unit will be headed and managed by a Secretary of Communications -who will also be State House Spokesman.
Manoah Esipisu has been appointed the first holder of the new office.
Esipisu takes over from Isaiya Kabira, who had been appointed as Kenya’s Ambassador to Australia.
Esipisu has had a distinguished career as a journalist and diplomat, starting off his media career with the Standard Group, where he reported briefly before joining the global news and information group Reuters.
He has also worked at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, where he was Spokesperson and Deputy Director of Communication and Public Affairs.
Until his appointment he was a special assistant to the president of the African Development Bank.
Five directors will guide the vision and implementation of the new outfit.
Eric Ng’eno a lawyer and writer will be the Director, Speechwriting and Research. He will spearhead specialised writing under his department.
Edward Irungu formerly of PPS, will head the press department which will be transformed into a modern presidential newsroom.
Munyori Buku, a former Standard Editor and Director of Communications at the Treasury will head the Department of External Communications and Media and will be in charge of communicating with local and International newsrooms.
James Kinyua, formerly with PPS will head the Events and Branding department and will be tasked in developing a new State House and government look raising the bar on the staging of State events.
The Digital, New Media and Diaspora Director will be Journalist and blogger Dennis Itumbi.
Itumbi who has worked as a journalist with local and international media will be charged with the role of ensuring communication using new media and modern tools including mobile applications, in State House and across government.
Itumbi will be charged with connecting those in the diaspora and users of digital space with the Presidency and Government.
He will be deputized by David Nzioka and Marvin Tumbo.
The president says; “I am confident that the new thinking on communications represents the promise of the Jubilee government to demystify State House and crucially to keep in touch with its people through engaging them through feedback and direct involvement.”
“We urge the team to move with speed and ensure that State House sets the pace for government communication,” he said.