ICT Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dennis Itumbi has threatened to sue the Nation Media Group (NMG) over alleged defamation following a series of articles that he claimed hurt his image.
In a 5-page demand letter seen by Kenyans.co.ke, Itumbi pinpointed a story published in both editions of Taifa Leo and Sunday Nation that detailed how CASs assumed office despite a court order barring them.
In particular, Itumbi claimed he was singled out for his involvement in leading government officials in the preparations of the Madaraka Day celebrations.
"Our client's profile, which he has laboured so hard to build and sustain has been gravely tarnished," Itumbi, through his lawyer Adrian Kamotho Njenga and Company Advocates, stated.
While highlighting the matter, his lawyer issued a 48-hour ultimatum, demanding an immediate retraction, of all the statements published by NMG that tainted Itumbi's image.
The CAS also sought an unequivocal public apology for the publications. Further, he demanded a commitment from Nation Media Group to forever cease and desist from further publishing content likely to hurt his image.
While breaking down the issues in Nation's articles, Itumbi claimed the publications alleged that the CAS discharged his official duties as usual despite a court order.
He also criticised the headline published on May 21, 2023, on Taifa Leo titled Mibabe wa Ukaidi (Stubborn Tyrants) and placed his image on the front page.
The lawyer also poked holes in the publications which claimed that all the tasks, activities and roles that he undertook are duties reserved for the position of CAS.
The CAS claimed that the publication painted a picture that he is desperate to hold the CAS office whereas without it, his life would collapse.
He noted that should NMG fail to heed the demands, he would take legal proceedings over the matter.
Ruto's 50 CASs
Itumbi is among 50 CASs who were sworn in on March 23, 2023, in an event presided by President William Ruto. A day later, Justice Hedwig Ongudi of the High Court in Nairobi barred the CASs from assuming office following a petition by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) which challenged their legality.
President Ruto, however, defended his decision to appoint the 50 CASs as he cited a huge workload whereby he needed all hands on deck to deliver on the campaign promises.
“On appointing CAS that’s the plan of my government. It’s my decision and I see the need for CAS to be there in my government."
“Today my deputy is almost sleeping in the office. Even Musalia is losing weight nowadays because of work. I need more workers because the agenda of changing Kenya requires more hands and minds,” Ruto stated during a joint media interview on May 14, 2023.