BY SIMIYU SIMIYU | TWITTER: @wakajuaness
Breaking! The government has shut down Kenya’s leading television stations Citizen and NTV.
The government has not issued a statement on the controversial move yet as well as the victim stations.
Though NTV has only been disconnected on Free-to-Air platforms, CITIZEN is completely shut down.
This follows yesterday’s contraversy where a section of media owners and editors were summoned at the State House and allegedly threatened in line with airing today’s ‘swearing-in’ ceremony of NASA Leader Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka.
NASA has claimed victory of the nullified 2017 general elections where President Uhuru Kenyatta was later announced the winner in a repeat election that attracted a mere 39 per cent in voter turn out.
Yesterday, the Chairman of Editors Guild Mr Linus Kaikai, who is also the head of NTV, issued a press statement slamming the government for gagging the media ahead of today’s event.
It is said that the government threatened to revoke liscenences for any media outlet that will broadcast the opposition’s function today.
Sources have told Wakajuaness.Com that the Communication Authority, the body in charge of the country’s communication, visited the transmitters in Limuru and disconnect NTV and CITIZEN without issuing a notice.
Citizen TV’s chairman Mr Wachira Waruru has not yet responded to my email by the time of taking this article to press.
Several social media houses including KTN have also aired the report of the shut down.
This is not the first time the government is forcing the media to give black-out to opposition events.
In July 2013, Mr Raila Odinga, the then CORD presidential candidate fresh from losing the general election, held a political rally at the same Uhuru Park but the local media gave it a black-out following pressure from the government.
It is not clear whether the shutting down is permanent or only for today.
Even before I finish this article, another tv channel KTN News and Radio Citizen have also been shut down. More stations are expected to be switched off.
Heading back to the Dark Days? God knows!!!
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