On Monday, January 24, 2022, former Citizen TV news anchor Hussein Mohamed was appointed Head of Communications for Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential campaign.
The news came as a shocker to many, who expected that renowned blogger and former director of digital communications at State House Dennis Itumbi would lead the communication team for Ruto’s Presidential bid.
In fact, Itumbi on his Facebook profile describes himself as the “Digital Strategist at the Presidential Campaign of DP William Ruto“. Itumbi , who enjoys multi-million following on social media platforms, also refers to himself as the “Spokesperson” for the “Hustler Nation”, a political wing associated with Ruto.
But the entry of Mohamed seems to have spoilt the party for Itumbi, who has aligned himself with Ruto since the fallout between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy.
On Hussein’s appointment, Itumbi wrote, “Congratulations, my brother Hussein Mohammed Again, as we have said, we will chose our FRIENDS! No-one will do that for US! (sic)”
The unveiling of Hussein comes days after Itumbi shared a fake image purporting to be from one of Deputy President William Ruto’s campaign trails. It later emerged that the image was lifted from the internet, from Nigeria during a crusade of renowned late preacher Reinhard Bonke. He later pulled down the post.
Even as the 2022 campaign period enters a crescendo, candidates will be shopping around for the best minds to head various teams, and as it seems for Ruto, Itumbi is not the best mind to head his communications team. He could be loyal, but not the best, according to Ruto.
While Hussein was welcomed to the “Hustler Nation” at Ruto’s Karen residence, Itumbi was conspicuously missing from the event, only sharing the congratulatory message hours later. Under normal circumstances, Itumbi is always the first, if not second after Ruto, to share any development concerning Ruto’s camp.
In fact, in the last few months, Itumbi has been running what he has termed as “Hustler Nation Intelligence Bureau (HNIB)”, which gathers information about perceived Ruto’s enemies and their plans. One of the biggest “victims” of HNIB has been ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Kenyatta, whom he has on several occasions accused of scheming evil against the second in command.
Itumbi played a vital role in the communication team that worked for President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy during the 2013 and 2017 elections. He was rewarded with the position of Digital Communications Director in State House before getting sacked in March 2020. Since then, he has termed himself as a Digital and Elections Strategist.
If he continues working for Ruto, Itumbi will now be under the armpits of Hussein, and might not share information as he wills like he used to.
Hussein formerly worked for Citizen TV and has maintained a low profile away from the public limelight since he left his plum job at Citizen TV in October 2019.