08 January, 2008

A Swipe at Alfred Mutua-Kenya Government Spokesman!

For the record i am neither an ODM ,ODM-K or PNU affiliate therefore this article is not motivated by bias or political affiliations but purely on a proffesional basis by virtue of being a trained lawyer.The post of Government spokesperson ought by necessity to be given to a lawyer,political scientist or someone with background on international relations or diplomacy!
Each time Alfred Mutua opens his mouth he mirrors forth his incompetency and or lack of knowledge and appreciation of pertinent issues and diplomatic relations.As a trained and accomplished Journalist he seems to be stumbling and setting off too many minefields in his present role.

President John Kuffuor of Ghana is due into the Country today due to the political crisis and prevailing quagmire.Mr Alfred Mutua says "he is here for a cup of cofffee at the invitation of the State and as President Mwai Kibaki's peer" .In essence he is denying the gravity and seriousness of the skirmishes that have plagued this Country in violence resulting in internal displacement of persons and Genocide! To him Kenya is not at war....but is that not the case.I take the liberty of here defining war at least in layman terms hopefuly to his appreciation.The Websters oline dictionary defines war as : (1): a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2): a period of such armed conflict (3): State of war b: the art or science of warfare c (1)obsolete : weapons and equipment for war (2)archaic : soldiers armed and equipped for war2 a: a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism b: a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end .

It is apparent therefore that the term war is wide enough and sufficient enough to capture and describe the state of armed hostilities that the country has witnessed since the 28th December, 2007 to date due to the flawed elections resulting in more than 450 deaths and 300,000 displaced !Kenyans are actually running to Uganda and Tanzania as refugees but to Mutua that warrants the President having a cup of tea with his Excellency Mr Kuffuor.It is minor incident and the Government is in full control of the state of affairs.What a gross state of denial, acceptance and acknowledgement.Had Mr Mutua stood up for election he would have suffered the fate of the 18 or so former cabinet ministers.Kenyans are too intelligent for mere hogwash. One should note that war is not marked by the severity of the fatalities but by the existing state of affairs.Well i do not expect Mr Mutua to use alarmist statements but i expect him to manourve across diplomatic mine fields in a cultured and learned way to protect the interests of his principal.The wrong words attract extra scrutiny and reveal glaring faults resulting in negative connotations that affect the image of his employer!

That is but one incident ,previously Mr Mutua was having a one on one interview with international media-Al Jazeera in particular and is reportedly heard to have said"Kenya does not need international interference!" in reference to the international concern generated especially in regards with the current conflict.

I bluntly do inform Mr. Mutua that his utterances are lay and irresponsible.I honestly believe that sometimes he exceeds his mandate and at times issues personal opinions and rhetoric just to be seen to be working!The world is a global village and a community of States with the G8 Nations playing the big brother role ,those who do not tow the line suffer,the likes of Zimbabwe,Iraq,Iran... etc .We do not want to create negative perceptions to the international community as to the sought of Country we are.What he terms "international interference" in diplomatic terms is "diplomatic concern".His statements may very well affect the recognition of Honorable Mwai Kibaki's Government to the international community thereby affecting diplomatic relations, exchange of Ambassadors ,donor aid,grants,tourism and development, State travel and participation in international affairs amongst myriads of other things. But after all Mutua was just 'talking'.Talk is not cheap it can be quite dear and quite destructive!

The situation is already bad, we need to exercise caution not to make it worse.Insight, dilligence and discernment is crucial for the office of chief Government spokesperson.It is my sincere hope that a competency framework be established for this role and the post advertised as the incumbent civil servant many a times has shot himself and his employer in the foot.With the perks and pay the post attracts i would be most happy and obliged to apply for it !For now thumbs down to Mr Alfred Mutua


  1. Thank you for calling him out. His crass incompetence is galling!! I am so done with him.

    Thumbs down kabisa!

  2. i agree with you heartily-in as much as he has a job to do he cannot expect to make such blatant lies and get away with it- doesnt he care about his own reputation also and that he comes off as a blind and pathetic liar?

  3. Alfie is shaming Kenyans at the worst time when we need him most.

  4. Am really sorry to burst all your emotional bubbles, but as a member of the media as well, we should be very careful of how we potray others.
    According to the mandate of the Govt spokesperson (which can be found here - http://www.communication.go.ke/pcu.asp?id=2)the spokesperson has the responsibility of Editing and producing journals and other publications aimed at improving Government image.). This mandate I must add was done well before the media bill.
    Whether he is effective or not is really beside the point. The man is doing his job.
    This public lynching (by acclamation - Kenyan style)that we have been too accustomed to is really an ochestration by the media owner's association against the outlawing of crossownership of media channels.
    I personally have misgivings about its enforceability but any debate surrounding it should be done soberly. This emotional bandwagon we have all jumped into, is really not the way to go.
    Furthermore - why the insitence on targetting Mutua? The media organisations have gone on a unprecedented personal attack on Mutua and a company associated with him. In my view this is bullying. Mutua did NOT pass the law, all he did was advocate for it, as its passing meant it became government policy.
    The cumulative value of the top five media companies should by now be approxiamtely Ksh. 30+ billion. Why would such clout be used against one civil servant. In my view, our media has gone mad.

  5. Anonymous "Mwenyenchi"(YOU HAVE A BLOG BUT NO POST ON IT....SEEMS FISHY AMA NI HUYO MSEE WA KOBRA SQUAD) seems to be responding to the Information and Communications Act which i must say was not the gist of the above article.But as you can clearly seee mister Mutua stumbles alot and ruffles many shoulders in his gallant attempt to fulfill his role as Government Spokesman! I am currently going through the Law inorder to derive an unbiased viewpoint and on the preliminary believe that there is alot of propaganda ,politics and hogwash about the media bill(now Act).To some extent i am agreeable to some of his findings but i also believe he is exaggerating his bit and is too emotive in this issue.Once again id be obliged to take his job or atleast deputize him(change from within)

  6. Haha, no am no cobra squad, though I wouldn't mind a role to boost my public profile :-)
    As for the postless blog, am guilty of being a struggler in this internet revolution, but am catching up pretty well.
    The decision to go through the bill is very welcome and trust me, you will be in a select group of persons who will have done this. You can find a copy here - (http://www.kenyalaw.org/Downloads/Bills/2008/The_Kenya_Communications%20_Amendment_%20Bill_2008.pdf).
    I do hope everyone else does the same and not rely on MOA (Media Owners Association) fulminations.

  7. Mutua has done good work given the environment he's working in.

  8. Dr. Alfred Mutua is fit for the job of Government Spokesman.

    It’s not every day that I get to stumble upon an article that reeks of nothing but malice. But these particular ones are, to say the least, works of biased thinkers, and could at best be described as lacking in any objective analysis.

    Both writers, in their freedom of expression, which the law of this land and the Kenyan government upholds chose to do a mudslinging at the character of the Government Spokesman of Kenya, Dr. Alfred Mutua, a man who earned his title of doctorate vide hard work and academic excellence.

    I believe the role of the Government Spokesman in any country is collecting information about what is happening inside the Administration and around the country, and getting that information to the media and the public in a timely and accurate fashion. I also believe Dr. Mutua has lived to that expectation and obligation.

    The argument by one blog writer that the job should have been given to a lawyer, a political scientist, or someone with a background on international relations is foolhardy. Naturally this position has to be filled by an individual from news media background.

    Any intelligent person will know that the job is purely Journalistic. The current holder of the office, Dr. Alfred Mutua is therefore in my conviction best suited for the job he does. The description of Dr. Mutua as an “idiot,” is pure personal and the writers on both blogs are waging a personal war when from the word go, they portray themselves as championing a public interest course.

    The writers, I may be wrong, but I fear I am right, exhibited a high degree of idiocy on their part. And they admit even in their blogs that Dr. Mutua is “much more learned than the rest of Kenyans whose names begin with mere Mr. Miss, or Mrs.” The inference that Dr. Mutua should “shut up” is therefore in my observation, mediocre.

    How could anyone contemplate a situation where a person whose job description is to speak, to shut up! as these advocates of doom would like us to believe? The position being held by Dr. Mutua requires a person who is intelligent in the ways and understands the politics of the country and the world, these qualifications, Dr. Mutua meets and even beyond.

    From the expressions by both bloggers, I see a duo whose understanding of the works of media is shallow, and I also see a pack of persons with skewed thought, with aim and intention of spoiling the good name of Dr. Mutua and the government he serves.

    I see persons who are intent on pampering their selfish egos. Of course as a patriotic Kenyan I believe that Dr. Mutua is working in the best interest of this nation and that he is working for me. That’s why I am bothered as a Kenyan when I read such egocentric, malicious correspondences from persons I would naturally think are knowledgeable.

    Dr. Mutua’s role requires him –as an obligation- to make sure that Kenyan people are getting an accurate account of what is going on in the country. That means the spokesman must essentially not be misleading to the citizenry. One forum through which he executes this mandate is the weekly press briefings usually held at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, where his office is located. In these briefings he usually responds to questions from reporters. The responses emerging therefrom are disseminated to the public vide various news outlets. I will repeat it here that Dr. Mutua has exceeded on this role; I faithfully believe he executes his mandate in a professional manner. But of course I also believe that in life you can’t please everyone. Even Jesus Christ himself couldn’t.

  9. @freekenya, this post made specific allegations on specific utterances said at that time that impugned his character.Kindly respond to the utterances in order to be truly objectives, at the same time i don't know of the blog post that particularly abused Mr Mutua.My blog does not condone any abusive language.

    Feel free to commend Mr Mutua when he does good but at the same time critic him if he does bad, that way he is bound to improve like all of us are!



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