The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has warned governors over their move to deny media houses advertisements.
The warning comes a day after Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya wrote to Nation Media Group (NMG) notifying the company of the decision to deny them any advertisements over a graft story.
In a letter addressed to Oparanya on Thursday, CEO Twalib Mbarak said such a move is inappropriate.
Mmarak said that the move offends the Constitution and relevant laws that govern acquisition of goods and services by public entities.
He warned that any accounting officer or any other public officer who may proceed to implement such unlawful instructions will be held personally liable.
Mbarak said the council violated article 10 and article 227 (1,3 and 21) when issuing the directive.
The article notes that;
1) The national values and principles of governance in this Article bind all State organs, State officers, public officers and all persons whenever any of them;
(a) applies or interprets this Constitution; (b) enacts, applies or interprets any law; or(c) makes or implements public policy decisions.
Article 227 says that (1) When a State organ or any other public entity contracts for goods or services, it shall do so in accordance with a system that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.
“Your letter, therefore, amounts to unlawful instructions and the contemplated action by county government could render all culpable persons liable to the applicable legal consequences including criminal prosecution,” Mbarak said.
The story published by NMG had the headline ‘Eight governors on graft hit list’.
In the story, the publication reported that the anti-graft agency had narrowed down to eight counties in its investigation into corruption.
The Media Council of Kenya, Media Owners Association and Kenya Editors Guild also criticised the CoG’s move.