October 23, 2018

ICT CS Mucheru summoned over media shutdown

A cabinet secretary has been asked to appear before the Senate over the media shutdown.

ICT CS Joe Mucheru was summoned on Thursday (8/2/17) by the Senate Information Committee.

The ICT CS is expected to appear before the committee next week Tuesday where he will answer questions on the media shutdown.

NTV Kenya and KTN News went on air after the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) switched back their transmission signals on Monday (5/2/17).

Citizen TV and Inooro TV, however, remained shut but have been switched on today.

Royal Media Services (RMS) Chairman SK Macharia had sued the State over the shutdown.

Mr Macharia wanted the State to pay compensation and get a court order barring interference with the company’s broadcast sites.

It is estimated that the stations were losing close to Sh30 million in advertising revenues per day.

The stations were closed following their ‘defiance’ to follow an alleged order from President Uhuru Kenyatta restricting the live coverage of the controversial ‘swearing-in’ ceremony of Raila Odinga as the people’s president on January 30.

In a press briefing last week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i maintained that the switch-off of the media houses would remain in place until investigations into NASA’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) activities had been concluded.

“Media owners and all relevant actors had been given a full security situation brief well ahead of the illegal activities of NASA. Unfortunately, some media houses chose to disregard this advice, their own code of ethics, self-regulations and moral responsibility to every Kenyan to safeguard security of their fellow citizens,” The CS stated at Harambee House.

The former Education CS further noted that coverage by the media would have led to incitement and a ‘massacre of catastrophic proportions’ was going to happen.

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