The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has responded to Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria's recent remarks about State agencies advertising with Nation Media Group (NMG).
Kuria slammed NMG on Sunday, alleging them of being "an opposition party" before issuing a roadside proclamation ordering government agencies to halt advertising with the media house or face dismissal.
He appeared to be responding to an NMG exposé published over the weekend that exposed an oil scandal allegedly organized by his ministry.
In a statement issued on Monday, EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak slammed Kuria's declaration, noting that public procurement in Kenya is governed by law and that no public institution or official should be punished for doing business with the media house.
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"According to Article 227 of the Constitution, public procurement must be conducted fairly, equitably, transparent, competitive, and cost-effectively." As a result, no person or organization can be lawfully denied the right to participate in any public procurement unless authorized by law," stated Mbarak.
"Similarly, no public institution or official should be victimized for engaging in any lawful dealings with any organization, including the awarding of tenders," he added. As a result, the Commission recommends all state and public officers to closely comply with the rules governing public affairs management, particularly the provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution and the Leadership and Integrity Act of 2012."
Many Kenyans were outraged by CS Kuria's statements, in which he also referred to the media house's journalists as "prostitutes."
The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) and the Kenya Editors' Guild commented on the CS's remarks and his behaviour as a State official.
KEG sought an unconditional apology from the Trade and assurances from President William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza administration that Kuria's opinions do not represent government policy.
On the other hand, the azimio la Umoja coalition has called for the resignation of the trade CS over his remarks. Moses Kuria is yet to issue a statement about the backlash.