Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has ordered for an investigation into a Sh2.5 billion debt owed by the government to various broadcasters and publishers.
Haji's announcement came following the publication of an editorial in the Daily Nation highlighting the rot at the Government Advertising Agency (GAA) and the ICT Ministry which were accused of irregularly procuring media services and failing to honor contracts.
"The act of government departments obtaining goods or services from Kenyans, including women, youth and persons with disabilities, and wilfully failing to pay for them, criminally falls short of the expectations of those legal provisions.
"The Jubilee government is wallowing, not just in foreign debt, but also in the money it owes local businesses, which it has either crippled or is in the process of ruining," the editorial published on Tuesday read in part.
Now, the DPP wants Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Chief George Kinoti to investigate the government agencies and keep him updated with a progress report every 21 days.
"In light of the issues raised in the aforementioned editorial and in the public interest... you are hereby directed to cause speedy and thorough investigations into the issues raised therein," his letter read.
The Jubilee administration centralized advertisements under the GAA ostensibly to cut costs and procure media services more effectively, but media stakeholders have claimed that the body is plagued by corruption and mismanagement.
The Nation editorial noted that they were investigating allegations of GAA officials having formed dummy companies which they used to loot public coffers.
It further stated that the actions at the GAA and the ICT ministry were denting the government's image.
Standard Group is claiming Ksh 931 million while Nation Media Group (NMG) is demanding Ksh 835million.
Mediamax Network Ltd is seeking to recover Ksh 462 million for the financial year ended June 2018 while Royal Media Services (RMS) and Radio Africa Group wants Ksh 60 million and Ksh 423 million respectively.