On Monday, the Communications Authority criticized six television stations for live coverage of Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja Coalition demonstrations.
The Authority threatened to revoke Citizen TV, NTV, K24, KBC, TV47, and Ebru TV’s licenses for covering the rallies in a statement issued on Wednesday, stating the national broadcasters had broken the code of coverage.
“Today, the Authority completed a review of Broadcast Coverage of Opposition demonstrations held on 20th March 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,’ read the statement by Communication Authority CEO Ezra Chiloba.
According to Chiloba, live broadcasting of the protests constituted a form of incitement to the public and might disrupt the country’s calm.
Citing relevant broadcasting rules, Chiloba stated that the Communications Authority had previously written to media houses requesting compliance with the requirements, failing which they would be sanctioned.
“The Authority has, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law, issued notices to the identified broadcasters to take immediate remedial actions. All broadcasters are hereby reminded of their obligations.”
“While the Authority promotes freedom of the press, it is imperative that all broadcasters exercise caution in Live Broadcast Coverage in order to avoid scenes that would be detrimental to peace and cohesion,” CA noted.
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“Failure to adhere to the outlined obligations shall be acting in breach of licence conditions, which shall attract liability under relevant provisions of the law, including revocation of broadcast licence and/or broadcast frequencies,” Chiloba noted.
The opposition leader Raila Odinga has since vowed that nationwide anti-government protests will resume every Monday and Thursday until the government meets additional demands.