, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – The government has abolished the Office of Government Spokesman, and in the process re-deployed the last office holder in the current administration, Muthui Kariuki, to the civil service.
A statement sent to newsrooms from State House on Thursday said the shutdown is part of the government’s re-organisation process.
The brief explained that the move was aimed at maintaining coherence, clarity and consistency within the government’s communication strategy and that the Government Spokesman’s office did not have any place within President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
“The Office of Public Communication Secretary and Government Spokesman does not fit within the new structure of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration and has consequently been shut,” explained the brief.
It added that the Secretary Communication and State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu would take the lead in communicating government matters to the public in their entirety.
Kariuki was the second holder of the Government Spokesman’s office after Alfred Mutua who is now the Machakos Governor.
Kariuki will be remembered for his abrasive nature that at times put him at odds with leading personalities.
The press briefing that followed events that occurred at the burial of school children in Kisii particularly offended some quarters who accused him of being unprofessional and using his position to lash out at the former Prime Minister and the CORD fraternity.
“It is disappointing that none than a politician of Raila Odinga’s stature would turn up at a solemn funeral ceremony and convert it into a political rally in total disregard of the feeling of the bereaved. This was not only morally repugnant but also callous in the extreme,” stated Kariuki on July 25.
More recently, he accused the former PM of refusing to return State vehicles and charged that he had acquired an illegal siren that “his goons use as he drives on the wrong side of the road.”
Kariuki was appointed to the post by former President Mwai Kibaki after Mutua resigned to pursue his political career.