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Nation’s Govt Advertising Millions Under Threat

CS Kuria's threat came soon after a report on the edible oils scandal left him and his ministry under scrutiny

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Trade and Investments Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has fired a warning shot at Nation Media Group (NMG) following a series of exposés by the media house uncovering shady dealings in President William Ruto’s administration, involving high-level figures including Kuria.

In a tweet laced with expletives, Kuria hinted at stopping government advertising with Kenya’s largest media company, stating that they could still advertise “auctioneers and funeral announcements.” In some cases, government agencies are obligated by law to advertise in leading local outlets.

The government owes media houses in Kenya over Ksh1 billion in pending bills from various advertisements, a situation that has affected media houses’ cashflow.

Kwa wale m***ya wa Agha Khan pale Nation Centre. You can still advertise auctioneers and funeral announcements. We will not stop those,” he shared at 11.08 pm on July 18, 2023.

His tweet came soon after a report on the edible oils scandal left Kuria and his ministry under scrutiny. The report disclosed that the first ever Cabinet meeting had seen an importation deal approved that saw private firms import edible oils tax-free before selling them at a higher price to the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC), stating that Kenyans “stand to lose Ksh6 billion”.

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Kuria had in April also been listed by Nation among high-profile Kenya Kwanza figures who bagged lucrative government tenders to construct stadiums, most of which had stalled despite contractors receiving funding.

Other major stories recently uncovered by Nation include the revelation in June that relatives and figures close to senior Kenya Kwanza leaders were securing some of the most lucrative government contracts. Firms associated with Communications Authority (CA) Board Chair Mary Wambui’s daughter and Belgut MP Nelson Koech’s wife secured contracts to lay fibre optic cables and repair the sections of Uhuru Highway, Mombasa Road and Waiyaki Way damaged during construction of the expressway respectively.

Nation was also recently at odds with Kenya Kwanza leaders after a Daily Nation frontpage splash in which 70 year old ‘Mama Mboga’ Pauline Waithira, spoke on President Ruto and Kenya Kwanza claiming they used her and abandoned her after winning the elections. Waithira had gained prominence after acting as a proxy for Ruto on 4 June 2022 when he presented his credentials before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for clearance to run for President.

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