Lobby group files petitions against CA to suspend broadcasting services
A lobby group has petitioned the High Court seeking to temporary suspend the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) intended decision to shutdown of broadcasting services of over 80 Radio and Television stations in the country
In a certificate of urgency filed in court on Thursday by the African Center for Corrective and prevention Action wants the court to issue interim orders suspending the directions by the telecommunications regulator issued on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 until the case is heard and determined.
Through lawyer Karugu Mbugua, the NGO states that the intended shutdown of the stations is illegal since it is an infringement of the members of the public right to receive information.
The lobby moved to court seeking the courts intervention after the Communication Authority of Kenya issues a notice of closure of over 80 Radio and Television stations in the country for failure to comply with their licence offer conditions.
In an affidavit filed in court by the lobby groups director James Mwangi says that the intended shut down is likely to affect the general public right to receive critical information that affects them and shapes their social, political and economic lives.
“Pending the inter-parties hearing of this application the court be pleased to issue a temporary injunction restraining the Communication Authority and his servants or his agents or any other person acting on their behest from effecting the shut down of broadcasting services of the Radio and Television stations per the notice dated December 22,2021,” reads the court papers.
In a notice issued on Wednesday by Communication Authority of Kenya boss Ezra Chiloba directed the revocation of frequency licensed of the Radio and Television stations for failure to comply with their licence offer conditions.
“Take notice that the Authority has commenced regulatory actions against the following listed broadcasters and applicants of broadcasting service provisioning licences for failure to comply with the relevant requirements as provided for in the Act,” Chiloba stated in the notice letter.
According to the agency it stated that it had intiated the process of revocation for FM stations assigned to four broadcasters firms namely Koch FM, Reo Women Association, Rware communication Multimedia Center and Western Media Services for holding expired Broadcasting licences.
Among other radio stations that the CA sought their closure are Capital FM, NRG and Mbaitu FM, Radio Lamu Fm, Radio Umoja, Midnimo Fm, Radio Lake Victoria and Radio Furaha.
CA also sought for cancellation of licences of three Televisions namely Smart TV, Pokot TV and Buruni TV
CA gave the radio firms 30 days to comply with the regulator rules before it shuts down their respective FM frequencies.
“Failure to comply…within 30 days will imply that the affected party is no longer interested in providing broadcasting services, and as such, the Authority shall proceed to revoke the assigned FM frequency and shut down broadcasting services,”CA stated. The agency notice also stated that “contravention of this requirement attracts a fine not exceeding Sh1,000,000 or imprisonment for a te