Cliff Laban Onserio, former NTV journalist and Standard Group media Chief of Staff, has received support for the Government spokesperson position from former colleagues and various institutions after he expressed interest in the role.
The position which is under the Ministry of ICT fell vacant following the exit of Rtd. Colonel Cyrus Oguna who served as the National Government Spokesman since May 2019.
The lack of a National Government Spokesperson has prompted a lot of miscommunication among various government agencies. Notably, the CS for Interior Kithure Kindiki and ICT CS Eliud Owalo recently released contradicting statements regarding Worldcoin’s activities in the country.
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) SG, Cleophas Malala had challenged the ICT CS, Eliud Owalo to fast-track the recruitment of a Government Spokesperson. While speaking during a meeting with editors, he stated, “We have been having a gap with the government communicating what we have been doing”
The Public Service Commission had advertised the vacancy following Oguna’s exit which was unsuccessful. ICT CS Eliud Owalo argued the exercise failed to present a “competent” candidate in response to Malala’s concern. According to the star, he said, “We didn’t get someone competent to do the job on behalf of the government and we had to ask public service to conduct a fresh process.” The CS further stated that the exercise is almost complete with a new candidate expected to be unveiled in the next two weeks.
Laban Onserio’s candidacy has received support from the United States International University (USIU) alumni association, and a former colleague at NTV, Mark Maasai.
Onserio’s previous roles
Laban Cliff Onserio began his career journey in London where he worked as a Business journalist at CNBC. He previously served as the Deputy Communications Director at the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) from 2018 before joining the Standard Group media as the Chief of Staff last year. Onserio also worked at Nation Media Group as a business anchor and reporter from 2013 to 2018 before joining the PDU.
Key roles of the Government spokesperson will include disseminating government policies and initiatives, publicizing various government programmes as well as advising the government on its media strategies.
According to the PSC, eligibility requirements include:
- Interested party must be a Kenyan citizen,
- have at least 10 years of experience as a media or communications practitioner,
- a bachelor’s degree in a media-related field,
In addition, the candidate should “demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the National development goals, policies and objectives, including the Government’s transformation agenda.”
The office attracts a monthly salary ranging from KES. 692,700 to KES. 976,000 inclusive of allowances.