Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU) directors have been kicked out of State House three weeks after Business Today exclusively reported of plans to disband the outfit and centralise government communications.
The PSCU team, save for its head Manoah Esipisu, who doubles as State House spokesperson, were ordered to vacate the House on the Hill by Chief of Staff and Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit Nzioka Waita, we have confirmed.
According to sources, some of the directors, Munyori Buku (public communications), Eric Ng’eno (messaging), Dennis Itumbi (digital communications and diaspora), James Kinyua (branding and events) and Munira Mohammed, are now operating from Deputy President William Ruto’s Harambee House Annex office.
Signs that there is no hope of ever returning to State House have begun to emerge after some of them opted to instead align themselves with influential Cabinet Secretaries and parastatal chiefs.
It is said Waita was unhappy with the team, which has previously been censured for lack of discipline and protocol, which sometimes embarrasses President Uhuru Kenyatta and the presidency in general.
This is the third time the team is finding itself in trouble. At one time, then Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua, now the Head of Public Service, also kicked them out of State House for, among others, undermining Esipisu but they wormed their way back after reaching out to the President.
They were also suspended in 2016 but later reinstated by Waita following appeals to President Uhuru but after what was said to have been a thorough dress-down on operations and practice.
The Daily Nation in a hard hitting article concluded they had turned into” lobbyists, challengers, damage control journalists, provocateurs, public relations experts and mischief makers.” This is because they had taken to defending the President and the government by all means possible and generally engaging in politics.
Government sources indicate all government communications, including the presidency, will soon be channelled from a central place – the Government Communications Unit (GCU) – which will be placed under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government at Harambee House.