Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, former Secretary General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, has rubbished the move by the government of Kenya to hire a U.S public relations firm to spruce up its image.
Dr Kituyi, who is eyeing the country’s top seat in 2022 says the KSh64.5m deal with Rational 360 is “totally unnecessary and unusually extravagant waste of scarce public resources.”
Rational 360, according to the contract which started April 12, “will serve as government relations managers…which will consist generally of relationship building with government and non-governmental officials and communications counsel and management services.”
Two Former U.S Presidents
This amount, however, does not include reimbursements for all “customary out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the consultant in connection with performance of this agreement,” says the year-long contract. This means that the Ksh64.5m is on the lower side.
Among the officials of Rational 360 are Patrick Dorton, special assistant to President Clinton, John Lockhart, former Press Secretary in the same administration and Christine Koronides, former Chief of Staff to director of National Economic Council under Obama.
Kituyi on Ambassador’s Role
Previously, the Kenyan Embassy in Washington engaged the services of Sonoran Policy Group LLC, to facilitate meetings and interactions with the U.S administration. The contract (2019) cost the Kenyan taxpayer $1.2 m (KSh130m).
According to Kituyi, what these PR firms are hired to do are “chores which are the essential duty of an ambassador.”