Itumbi: Ruto ouster from Jubilee was planned in 2018 in powerful meeting

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 14 Apr, 2020 13:48 | 3 mins read
On March 18, Dennis Itumbi was sacked as State House’s senior director of communication, digital, innovation and diaspora communication. [PHOTO | FILE]
On March 18, Dennis Itumbi was sacked as State House’s senior director of communication, digital, innovation and diaspora communication. [PHOTO | FILE]
Keino told a Nairobi court on Wednesday that Itumbi posted the letter in May, but he is not sure if it was Itumbi who authored the letter. [PHOTO | FILE]

Former State House digital strategist Dennis Itumbi now claims a plot to kick Deputy President William Ruto out of Jubilee Party began in early 2018.

Speaking on Facebook on Sunday, April 12, Itumbi said the Ruto ouster bid was arrived at after a powerful meeting was held to strategise on how the DP’s removal will be executed, and effectively scuttle his chances of succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.

“[In] early 2018, a meeting was convened. The aim was to develop a strategy to stop William Ruto from becoming President in 2022. A few people were told to develop ideas that would inform the strategy,” said Itumbi on Facebook.

The ex-State House insider said he was placed in dilemma — of choosing between remaining loyal to his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, or to be part of the team that will see DP Ruto’s ambitions thwarted beyond salvation.

“That is the day, I made my decision — I would not be part of the [Ruto] betrayal,” he added.

Itumbi claims the “task-force” formed to “stop DP Ruto” crafted four key strategies that would ensure Ruto is struck out of the game-plan completely.

“Four points were adopted as the pillars that would ‘drive out Ruto and completely finish him’. Those in the meeting, is a list I will table in a book someday,” he said.

The ex-digital strategist at State House said he — in his subsequent post — will reveal the four key points that were settled on to scuttle the DP’s 2022 chances of ascending to presidency.

“What were the four pillars? [I will reveal in my] next post,” he said.

However, in Itumbi’s subsequent post, he never talked of anything to do with the four pillars. He, instead, addressed allegations that certain people in Jubilee Party were trying to depower some of the originally-chosen Party officials, a stand that was voiced by DP Ruto a few days earlier.

K24 Digital reached Itumbi to comment on the four key pillars DP Ruto detractors settled on to extinguish his hopes of being President Kenyatta’s successor.

“It is a big dossier. I wouldn’t reveal the pillars to the press as at now. Relax, the dossier is coming soon. It will be earth-shaking,” he said.

Itumbi, a former staunch defender of President Kenyatta, has now shifted loyalty to DP Ruto.

On March 18, he was sacked as State House’s senior director of communication, digital, innovation and diaspora communication.

It emerged that Interior minister Fred Matiang’i had requested the Public Service Commission (PSC) to declare positions held by Dennis Itumbi and four others redundant.

The Cabinet Secretary in charge of Coordination of National Government had written to the PSC on March 16 requesting to have the following posts at State House scrapped completely: senior director of communication, events and branding (job group T/CSG4), senior director of communication, speech writing (job group T/CSG4), senior director of communication, digital, innovation and diaspora communication (job group T/CSG4), director of communication, events and branding (job group T/CSG5), and principal information officer, head of digital strategies (job group N/CSG8).

The minister’s letter was of reference number OP/PA.3/91A of 16.3.2020.

And just two days later (March 18), Matiang’i’s request was fulfilled as the holders of the above positions were given letters informing them of the termination of their contracts.

In a response to the minister’s letter, the PSC said on March 18, that “it had considered your request for abolishment of the five positions”.

“Pursuant to Section 28 of the Public Service Act of 2017, the PSC has abolished underlisted offices upon re-organisation of Government,” read the PSC’s letter, which listed the above positions as ones to be affected by the review.

The affected included: Dennis Njue Itumbi; the senior director digital, innovation and diaspora communication, James Kinyua Mureithi; the senior director, events and branding, David Nzioka Musau; the director, events and branding, Erick Kipkoech Ng’enoh, the senior director, speech writing and John Ndolo, the principal information officer.

Speculators suggested the five could have been axed following gaffes that led to the suspension of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Twitter page on March 22, 2019. The Head of State’s Twitter page had 3.62 million followers at the time.