Names Likely to Feature in Ruto's Press Team

  • Photo collage for Dennis Itumbi, Rita Oyier and Hussein Mohammed.
    Photo collage for Dennis Itumbi, Rita Oyier and Hussein Mohammed.
    File
  • President William Ruto is expected to assemble a team of seasoned communication experts to work behind the scenes in supporting his vision and agenda for the country.

    Besides the Cabinet Secretaries, the press team is integral in shaping his legacy and reinforcing the image of the Head of State.

    Ruto will be expected to fill positions in the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit (PSCU), formerly known as the Presidential Press Service (PPS).

    Those appointed in Ruto's inner circle as his pressmen will be charged with covering him and First Lady Rachel Ruto. Their responsibilities will include research on policy, communication of government policy, digitisation of government communications and branding of State events and functions.

    Former President Uhuru Kenyatta sharing a light moment with President William Ruto at Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday, September 13, 2022
    Former President Uhuru Kenyatta sharing a light moment with President William Ruto at Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday, September 13, 2022
    File

    Former Citizen TV anchor Kanze Dena served as State House Spokesperson in the retired President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration.  Others who were featured include Munyori Buku, who was the Senior Director of Public Communication at the office of the president. 

    Dennis Itumbi was axed during Uhuru's second term in office.

    But even as the President works round the clock to put together his team, he already has a few names that could be charged with State House messaging. Some of these men and women are common names that have graced TV screens as anchors or reporters. Others are communication veterans and newspaper columnists who shot from the hip.

    Hussein Mohamed

    Hussein Mohammed, Director of Communications for William Samoei Ruto Presidential Campaign Secretariat, is among the top communications gurus likely to take over from Kanze.

    The former Citizen TV presenter bolstered Ruto's campaign, especially in the last months and days to the election.

    Most analysts have argued that the head of state may reward his loyalty and service by appointing him as the next State House spokesperson.

    With his experience, media relations and network, Hussein would be ideal in gatekeeping and guarding the President's image by moderating what is fed to the public.

    Chemutai Goin

    Citizen TV reporter Chemutai Goin laughing after covering the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday September 13, 2022
    Citizen TV reporter Chemutai Goin laughing after covering the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.
    Twitter
    Chemutai Goin

    The Citizen TV reporter was the centrepiece in covering Ruto's campaigns. Goin accompanied Ruto to nearly every part of the country in the run up to the elections.

    She has experience and skills in politics and governance, current affairs and developmental journalism. Goin is also skilled in live reporting, writing and producing feature stories, editing, public speaking, and moderating events.

    Ruto is likely to pluck her from RMS to boost his pool of talent, especially in spelling out his achievements under the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU), which could be scrapped or renamed.

    Emmanuel Talam

    Emmanuel Talam is among the loyalists who served him when he was the second in command. Talam was the Director of Communication in the Deputy President’s Office. 

    Before taking the role, Talam was the Deputy Managing Editor at KTN. He also served as a planning and assignment editor at China Central Television -CCTV. 

    The University of Nairobi graduate is also poised to feature in Ruto's press team as he played a vital role in debunking information that sought to soil his name during the campaign period.

    File image of Emmanuel Talam, Director of Communication in the Office of the Deputy President
    File image of Emmanuel Talam, Director of Communication in the Office of the Deputy President
    Twitter

    David Mugonyi

    Mugonyi was the Communication Secretary at the Deputy President’s Office.  

    Before landing that position in Ruto's DP docket, he served as the Chief Media Relations Officer at the Kenya Parliament.

    Mugonyi also served as an editor at Nation Media Group.

    He was among the trusted gurus Ruto tasked to cover his development agenda effectively. 

    Dennis Itumbi

    Dennis Itumbi may also feature in Ruto's press team. He played a key role with his famous HNIB reports that helped Ruto in countering statements and claims that were levelled against him.

    With his closeness to Ruto, most political pundits have argued that Ruto may reward him and possibly take up the position he held before being axed by Uhuru.

    Rita Oyier

    Former member of William Ruto’s presidential communication team.
    Former member of William Ruto’s presidential communication team.
    File

    Safina Presidential aspirant Jimi Wanjigi appointed Rita Oyier as the Director of his Communication team. 

    Before the appointment, Rita was a team member of Ruto’s presidential communication team.

    She was also the Co-founder of the renowned Women For Ruto team, which was running nonpartisan campaigns to get more women elected and championing the need to have a woman running mate.

    Although they have not expressed their desire to take up the roles, the six have been touted as possible fits to lead his press team.

    But in assembling the team, Ruto will have to vet those who meet the criteria for working to disseminate State House information.

    Other notable mentions include, Michael Gitonga, a former TV host at KTN, Wanjohi Githae, and Munyori Buku

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