The Star (Nairobi)

4 June 2014

Kenya: Uhuru 'Airlifting Speech Tender' Cause a Storm for Digital Govt

THE Government today, yet again, floated a tender for the airlifting of presidential speeches despite outcry by Kenyans on online platforms last year.

The Interior and National Coordination Ministry advertised various tenders for delivery of goods and services with "Airlifting of Presidential Speeches" being one of them.

Over the years, the government has been floating tenders titled 'Airlifting of Presidential Speeches' and there have been queries on why they cannot be sent through email.

Though the exact value of the tender is not indicated in the advertisement, it attracts a bid bond of Sh500,000.

But assuming that the bid bond is 2 per cent of the tender amount, as normally is the case, the total cost will be worth some Sh25 million.

What is puzzling is why a government that has touted itself as being "digital" has insisted on being "analogue" on the ways of delivering the presidential speeches.

Director of Digital at the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit Dennis Itumbi though indicating that he was giving his own opinion said that this should not be the case.

"I hold the strong opinion that in a digital age we have no business flying speeches. Jubilee believes in the digital space. Whereas this year we have little option but fly the speeches, in the next we should seek alternate means," Itumbi said.

In October last year, when the Star sought answers to the same issue, a State House official anonymously said that there was resistance to digitise government communication.

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