But the government has its own machinery: Presidency Spokesperson, the Directorate of Strategic Communications, the Deputy President’s communications unit, the Official Government Spokesperson. There may be a communication adviser to the President. In the ministry is the moribund Kenya News Agency with information officers in each county, the anaemic Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and the Kenya Yearbook. Each ministry has information officers.
Which story are all these megaphones, platforms and experts trying to tell? That the President did not refer to a “closest political aide” as he fulminated against corruption while touring Namibia last month? Or that no Kenyan has died of hunger while graves are fresh in Turkana and Baringo? Or that Sh7bn and not Sh21bn may have been lost in some dams we can’t find in Kerio Valley?
Or that the last mile electricity project was a great success despite most homes now being unable to pay to enjoy light and Kenya Power tottering on the brink of collapse because of the debt burden? Or that promised stadiums are here and that Chinese debt is wholesome?
These fibs can be verbalised but will not be believed because of the basic fact that however sophisticated the machinery set up to articulate a lie, it will remain a lie. Believability is in the execution, the doing, and the results.
The government must stop trying to sugar-coat a narrative riddled with oodles of incompetence and malfeasance and just deliver on its numerous promises to wananchi. Out of this will flow the positive narrative about a people busy creating wealth, a country exporting food, an education system thriving on research and registration of patents, a policing system that is a service rather than a force, etc. This narrative is not contrived by press statements and layers of busy-body bureaucrats. It writes itself!
The writer consults on various areas. Tom.firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @tmshindi