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September 22, 2018

Scrap or modernise the Kenya Gazette to reach more

The Kenya Gazette is the official government mouthpiece for notifying the public of any action, appointment or legislation. It is registered at the General Publications Office as the official government newspaper for publishing notices of new bills, all notices required by law and other  announcements from the three arms of government — Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

Ordinary citizens also post notices of public interest such as succession and undertakings requiring public participation such as environmental impact assessment.

The century-old relic of the colonial administration has sometimes been abused to cover up mischievous state actions. This became apparent during the presidential petition when IEBC disclosed that it had published notices nobody knew about.

The gazette, which retails for Sh60 from the Government Printer, circulates mainly to state departments and subscribing lawyers. It is often out of stock even at the printer. Editions listed as published are hard to find at the printer, raising the question: for whom is it published?

With digitisation of government functions, the scanned gazette is now available online at Kenyalaw.org. However, government now has a weekly publication, My Gov, inserted in daily newspapers — reporting government activities and publishing important information such as tenders. Shouldn't the Gazette, too, be published as an insert or replaced altogether?

 

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