Kenya’s Vernacular TV Station Suspended Over Inappropriate Content

Mt. Kenya television will remain off for the next four weeks, effective today, announced the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).

The authority announced the decision saying the station breached programming standards.

The vernacular channel was accused of airing an animated movie entailed “Free Jimmy”, featuring adult content, robbery, drug abuse and violence during the watershed period. The incident, which took place on April 19, 2021, at 2 pm elicited public uproar.

CA also accused the station of airing content not rated by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and not acquiring intellectual property rights from Kenya Copyright Board’s (KECOBO).

“The authority has directed Mt Kenya TV Channel to go off air from mid-day today for a minimum period of fours weeks, within which time the licensee shall put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure compliance with its license terms and conditions. The station will only go back on air after the authority confirms that it has complied with all the current and outstanding compliance issues,” said CA boss Mercy Wanjau.

The licensee was further slapped with a ksh500,000 ($5000) fine for failure to comply with issues raised before for over 120 days. The outstanding compliance issues should be closed within 30 days, said CA.

The authority boss said Mt. Kenya television confessed to airing offensive content attributing the violation to a content mix-up in the control room; however, they could not explain how the content found its way to the server.

Therefore, the licensee has been directed to review its internal controls on access to the system for queuing and scheduling its programmes to avoid the issue’s reoccurrence. They are required to present evidence to CA.

CA also ordered all staff to be trained and the channel to review its editorial policy to align it with the laws protecting children against inappropriate content and ensure the Media Council of Kenya accredits its presenters.

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