The David Makali led task force for improvement of government information and communication has embarked on public stakeholders forum.
Task force members visited Mombasa County where they held meetings with National government departmental heads on Tuesday at Uhuru na Kazi building and sought their views on how best the government would communicate with citizens.
Some of the departmental heads who spoke at the forum also attended by Mombasa County Commissioner (CC), Evans Achoki decried what they termed the fixation with political trivia by the private media instead of development aspects.
They said there is need for the government to put across its views and allow its officials at the grassroots to put their voices out without hindrance.
The Kisauni Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Kipchumba Ruto said there was need for a public broadcaster different from KBC which is dedicated mainly on development stories and public affairs programming.
The Coast Regional Principal Registrar of Persons, Aggrey Masai said the information being provided by government ought to be credible and timely.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) Coast Regional Manager, Boniventure Kioko underscored the need for platforms to champion communication for development to bring about social economic improvements on the lives of Kenyans.
Earlier, the task force paid a courtesy call on the Coast Regional Commissioner (RC), John Elung’ata who said he was excited by the team’s visit to the coast region.
Elung’ata said the government should heavily invest in Kenya News Agency (KNA) to effectively carry its mandate of informing the public.
The RC said KNA offers the government the best platform and avenue to articulate and highlight development stories that are often neglected by the private media.
He said a revamped KNA will articulate government programmes and highlight development success stories that often fail to see the light of day in mainstream media in the country.
Makali said the task force is expected to make recommendations on how to revamp and strengthen the institutional and operational foundations of information and public communication functions in government.
He said currently the task force members are visiting Mombasa, Nyeri and Kisumu counties to collect views from stakeholders, adding that Kenyans have the right to know what public institutions and ministries were doing and what administrative decisions are being made.
“There is need for the government to communicate with the public in a coherent and cohesive manner” he said.
He said there is need to ensure free flow of information on government policies, programmes and activities especially on the Big Four Agenda on food security, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing.
By Hussein Abdullahi