Governors oppose order on adverts

Siaya Governor Mr Cornell Rasanga during a past interview. Mr Rasanga Sunday blamed his rows with the region’s lawmakers on tenders. PHOTO | JACOB OWITI

What you need to know:

  • Counties told to advertise online
  • Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga opposed the new directive, which he described as illegal. County governments would oppose it, he added.
  • Council of Governors vice-chairman Salim Mvurya on Tuesday said county governments could not take orders from ministries, adding that counties were not subordinate to the National Government.

Governors and journalists on Tuesday scoffed at plans by the Information ministry requiring counties to conduct their advertising campaigns electronically.

Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga opposed the new directive, which he described as illegal. County governments would oppose it, he added.

Mr Rasanga argued that the Internet was not yet popular or available in rural areas, hence the order would deny many Kenyans the right to information in county government advertisements and notices.

Information Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i told the Nation on Monday that under the new framework, all government ministries and companies, county governments and foreign missions were required to submit their advertisements and public notices to a new unit, which would then decide whether to place them in the print media or on an online platform.

“Advertising through websites will compromise transparency and encourage corruption within the proposed advertising unit.

‘‘How many people access the Internet in counties?” asked Mr Rasanga.

Dr Matiang’i said the move would reduce government expenditure on advertising from Sh2.8 billion per year to about Sh1 billion.

Council of Governors vice-chairman Salim Mvurya on Tuesday said county governments could not take orders from ministries, adding that counties were not subordinate to the National Government.

Nyamira county boss John Nyagarama said the directive was unacceptable given the independence of the two systems of government.

His Laikipia counterpart Joshua Irungu accused the National Government of using small control mechanisms to slow down counties.

Kenya Union of Journalists secretary-general Jared Obuya said the move was wrong since not every Kenyan could access the Internet. “This looks like a ploy to restrict access to government information,” he said.

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