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Public relations officers ‘stranded’ at Jogoo House for a month

COUNTIES
By - GEOFFREY MOSOKU | July 18th 2013

By GEOFFREY MOSOKU

KENYA: Hundreds of civil servants, who were working as public relations officers for Government ministries and departments, are stranded at Jogoo House, a month after they were recalled for deployment.

Former Information PS Bitange Ndemo wrote to the officers on June 5 and 13 directing that they report to director of information immediately.

The officers were later informed that they will be deployed to counties to work with governors but by yesterday, a month after the recall, they’re yet to get any communication.

All ministries and State departments normally have communication departments, which are manned by officers who are seconded by Ministry of Information.

Also affected are photographers and technicians working in the communication departments of public bodies such as parastatals, independent commissions and ministries.

Yesterday, several officers told The Standard they were not sure of their fate adding that they only report to Jogoo House and return home in the evening.

Hiring directors

“We were told some of us will go to the counties while others will be sent to ministries but one month later, we are still stuck here,” an officer, who sought anonymity, said.

However, the plan to send the officers to counties, according to sources, hit a snag after governors decided to recruit their own workers. Counties have been hiring directors of communications, who are mainly drawn from the media.

Director of Information Olewe Owiti said he could not comment on the issue, as it was a policy matter that is the domain of the PS. He, however, said the officers will be deployed once they report to his office.

“I don’t communicate across the ministries as that is the work of the PS but those who will report will be deployed,” Olewe said. Government spokesman Muthui Kariuki confirmed that the officers were asked to report at Jogoo House to pave way for re-organisation of Government communication.  “This is part of the wider scheme of the Government to reorganise its human capital,” he said.

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