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How The Star Newspaper Beat Other Media Outlets To Win MyGov Tender

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The award of government advertisements through MyGov newspaper was a competitive process and the lowest bidder was awarded the tender.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary (PS) Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani has said reports going round in media spaces that the government advertisements were exclusively awarded to one media house are untrue as he called on the media houses to report facts, since some of them participated in the process by applying for the tender.

The PS refuted claims that the tender was not advertised saying that the government through the Government Advertising Agency (GAA) placed the tender advertisement through a nationwide newspaper.

Addressing the press at the Government Media Centre, Teleposta Towers, Nairobi, Prof. Kisiang’ani explained that on the 16th of September 2023, the government advertised the tender in MyGov newspaper, which was circulated by the Daily Nation and the tender was calling for the bidding by suitable candidates to carry government print advertisements in media houses.

He added that the bidders for the tender were Mediamax Network who own People daily newspaper, Nation Media Group, Convergence Africa Media-which owns the Star Newspaper, Postal Corporation of Kenya, SVM and the Standard Media Group.

Prof. Kisiang’ani said that the tender evaluation committee approved the tenders of three bidders, who met all the requisite documentations and they were invited to the financial negotiation table.

According to the PS, the responsive bidders who had all the documentation were Nation Media Group, MediaMax and Convergence Africa Media.

“Standard Media lacked the information of the actual print run for the last six months certified by the CEO, but their competitors provided the same, SVM did not qualify because when we checked on the KRA portal their compliance certificate had been withdrawn, Postal Corporation only bid for distribution, while we had advertised for printing and distribution and we disqualified our own Postal Corporation,” said Prof. Kisiang’ani.

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He explained that the three successful Media houses were called for financial negotiations on the 13th of December 2023 and they came to meet the ministry team led by GAA Ag. Director Michael Okidi.

“The Nation Media team was led by manager James Ogot and they quoted Sh712, 000 per page and if you multiply this with a 40 page MyGov newspaper, you get around Sh.28 million, the ministry offered them Sh250, 000 per page but they refused and so the two parties failed to agree at the final stage,” explained Prof. Kisiang’ani.

The PS added that Mediamax CEO Ken Ngaruiya came personally for the final negotiations where they quoted Sh591, 000 per page, the ministry offered them Sh250, 000 per page which they refused.

Prof. Kisiang’ani said that Convergence Media who won the tender came with a flat rate of Sh9 million in their tendering, but in the negotiations they wanted Sh11 million which the ministry refused since the tender regulations does not allow for an upward review of the cost as it can only remain the same or go down.

“Compared to Nation Media which was quoting Sh28 million and Medimax, which was quoting Sh23 million, Convergence Media quoting Sh9 million was the lowest bidder and we announced the winner of the tender after that whole process,” said Prof. Kisiang’ani, adding that at the point of negotiations if any of the other media houses came down on their prices they would have probably gotten the tender.

The PS called on media houses to visit the ministry where they can get the documentations and minutes of all these meetings, which will enable them to write factual stories.

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The PS said that the government is reducing 47 percent of its advertising, adding that as the country and the audience migrates to the digital space, the government is also contemplating going digital in its advertisements.

“As media houses you can no longer continue investing in print as a source of revenue, we have to work together in the sector working group that we have constituted to see how you can access digital resources and make revenue to help support the media houses,” said Prof. Kisiang’ani.


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