The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), a government owned communication regulator in the country has issued a cautionary notice threating to gag the media including revocation of the television licenses over alleged violation of “Programming Code” in live coverage of the anti-government protests by the opposition.
CA Director General (DG) Ezra Chiloba has faulted six television stations over their live coverage of the anti-government protests led by Azimio La Umoja Coalition Party Leader Raila Odinga on Monday
In a statement issued yesterday, Chiloba threatened to revoke the licences of Citizen TV, NTV, K24, KBC, TV47 and Ebru TV for broadcasting the rallies claiming the national broadcasters had violated the code of coverage.
“Today, the Authority completed a review of Broadcast Coverage of Opposition demonstrations held on March 20, 2023. The authority has established that at least Six (6) TV stations, namely, Citizen TV, NTV, K24, KBC, TV47 and Ebru TV, provided coverage in a manner that violated the Programming Code.” Chiloba said.
Further, Chiloba said he has since written to all broadcasters to ensure compliance with the said code.
“The coverage depicted scenes that could cause panic or incitement to the public, threatening peace and cohesion to the country.” He added.
CA warned that broadcasters exercise caution in live broadcast coverage in order to avoid scenes that he said could be “detrimental to peace and cohesion,”
However, in a move widely seen as an attempt aimed at media censorship, Chiloba warned that failure to abide by the outlined obligations shall amount to acting in breach of license conditions and which shall attract liability in accordance with the law which can lead to revocation of broadcast license or frequencies.
The threats come in the wake of declaration by the Azimio leader that they will be holding biweekly protests on Monday and Thursday to pressurise the government address the skyrocketing cost of living, fairness in public appointments and all-inclusive electoral among other demands.
President William Ruto on the other hand has dared the opposition to make good their threat calling them “economic terrorists”. Ruto said.