NIS report casts doubt on Itumbi’s academic papers

Saturday June 7 2014

PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH Director of Digital Media and Diaspora Communication Dennis Itumbi (right) shows Nakuru County Governor Kinuthia Mbugua the basics of Wi-Fi connectivity during the launch of free Wi-Fi at Moi Road in Nakuru town on March 30, 2014.

PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH Nakuru County Governor Kinuthia Mbugua (left) listens to director of Digital Media and Diaspora Communication Dennis Itumbi in this file photo. Some of those who have knocked on his door say that he is a good listener but he does not entertain idlers. NATION MEDIA GROUP

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The fate of the Director for Digital, New Media and Diaspora Affairs at State House hangs in the balance following a confidential intelligence report that questions his academic credentials and suitability to serve in a sensitive government office. 

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) report seen by Sunday Nation alleges that Mr Dennis Itumbi is among 50 students from Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) in Nairobi whose qualifications are open to questions.

According to the NIS security vetting brief, Mr Itumbi allegedly led student unrest at the institution and used this as leverage to force the then management of the college led by Mr Eliud Sang to “award him and his class (of 50) Diplomas in Broadcast Journalism while they were enrolled to do a certificate course in the same”.

“In 2001, he joined Kenya Institute of Mass Communication as a parallel student to pursue a certificate course in journalism. He, however, was awarded a Diploma in Broadcast journalism in unclear circumstances,” says the brief.

Mr Itumbi, who commands huge social media following and actively campaigned for the Jubilee coalition in the last elections, is among top advisers in the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit led by Mr Manoah Esipisu.

Mr Itumbi’s confirmation to hold the position of “director” is also still pending at the Public Service Commission (PSC). It is unclear whether this has anything to do with education qualifications as directors are expected to hold advanced degrees.

The NIS report has also attached Mr Itumbi’s PSC application for employment form. The document shows that apart from KIMC, he has only attended short courses at various institutions without indications of a bachelor’s degree.

The NIS report was circulated to PSC among other concerned institutions.

The report alleges Mr Itumbi is a “self-motivated go getter who uses any means at his disposal . . . to get his way”.

The critical report also alleges that Mr Itumbi may have in the past been involved in leakage of classified documents through his Facebook page, Twitter handle, his blog and local media houses.

The NIS report also lines up past and current court cases that have faced Mr Itumbi.