President William Ruto has shut down a key communication portal used by his predecessor, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, as a mouthpiece for State House functions. The portal, president.go.ke, had become popular with the public for publishing key events and news around the presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta.
But the websites was shut down immediately President Ruto took office and has been off since, only displaying Ruto’s official photograph and presidential standard. It is not clear why the website had to be put offline, blocking all its content which is mostly policy and presidential events.
Observers point to a possible restructuring of this presidential communication division. Under Uhuru, the website was run by a team from the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU). It is expected that the website will be redone and rebranded to suit President Ruto’s tastes. The content is also likely to be expanded to include general information around the presidency. It will be run by a new team to be created by the Ruto State House management.
Under Uhuru Kenyatta, the portal covered high-profile presidential events, including activities of the First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta. It also had dedicated sections on the Big Four Agenda, which was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy project that focused on the four broad areas of affordable housing, universal healthcare, manufacturing and food security.
President Ruto already has a vibrant and full-fledged UDA website. It is not clear whether this will be adopted to be his official communication website as president.
From a branding perspective, though, Ruto is likely to retain the president.go.ke website, but reconstruct it to meet his communications and quality standards and needs. It is not clear whether he will do away with content relating to Uhuru’s presidency.
“The website could soon be back in new form and shape,” said someone familiar with the matter. “My guess is that it is undergoing a makeover.” The president.go.ke is complimented by the State House Twitter handle and myGov website and newspaper run by the Ministry of ICT.