Sakaja bans Nairobi officials from holding media interviews without his permission

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Sakaja bans Nairobi officials from holding media interviews without his permission

Nairobi’s senior county officials have been instructed to obtain approval from Governor Sakaja before making any statements to the media.

This directive, outlined in a memo dated December 19, 2023, comes from Patrick Analo, the Acting County Secretary and head of public service, and has been communicated to all County Executive Committee members, county chief officers, and directors.

“This is to direct all officers invited for media interviews to seek authorization from the Governor before honoring the media interviews,” the memo reads.

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Adding that, “we take cognizance of the fact that some officers are usually invited in their individual professional capacities,”

For this purpose, the directive specifies that individuals falling within the mentioned category must indicate that they have been personally invited to the discussions because of their professional expertise.

Nevertheless, Analo informed the Standard that this is not intended to silence the officers from speaking publicly through the media.

“In a county that has 15,000 staff, we found it better to do that so any kind of contradiction can be avoided. The reason for seeking clearance from the governor is to inform him about the issues they want to address,” the county secretary responded.

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He added that some staff members are still newcomers to the county and are in the process of learning various aspects about it.

The directive particularly applies to those who make appearances on vernacular radio stations, as the secretary mentioned that such engagements have led to confusion.

“If the process of sharing information is not streamlined, it will cause some confusion. For instance, you will find that what the CEC is saying will be different from what Chief Officers or Directors are saying,” Analo added.

The directive was issued shortly after Nairobi Chief Officers, in a television interview, announced the county’s plans to acquire motor boats for its staff in anticipation of El Nino rains.

In the interview, the Chief Officer conveyed assurance about the county’s preparedness, emphasizing the mobilization of crucial assets such as excavators and lorries.

“As a department, we are planning to procure motorboats and inflatable rafts to help us access flooded areas,” he stated, but the county later delinked itself from the remarks.

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Sakaja bans Nairobi officials from holding media interviews without his permission

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