, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – Royal Media Services’ Citizen and Inooro television stations are back on air, more than a week after they were switched off by the government.
Two other stations – KTN News and NTV – which were also switched off on January 30 for broadcasting live the swearing-in of NASA leader Raila Odinga as the People’s President – were switched on earlier this week.
The Royal Media TVs broadcasts were reinstated hours after the Chairman of the Senate ICT chairman Gideon Moi summoned ICT Cabinet Secretary Jose Mucheru to appear before them personally over the matter.
The High Court had also issued an order to the Communications Authority to have all the TVs broadcasts reinstated pending a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.
The move to switch off their signals attracted condemnation from a section of Kenyans, politicians and even the international community.
On February 3, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said he was concerned over the government’s attempts to interfere with the rights to freedom of expression.
The government has earlier ignored court orders to reinstate the signals.
On Wednesday, Chief Justice David Maraga broke his silence on the Executive’s display of contempt for court orders in the last one week.
Maraga, through his statement, sought to remind government officials and institutions that they are duty-bound to see to the enforcement of court orders.
Where aggrieved, he impressed upon them that there are legal avenues through which they can seek redress.
“Compliance with court orders is not an option for any individual or institution. Neither is it a favour to be doled out to the Judiciary,” his statement to the press read.
The Executive’s disregard of these orders has also been criticized by the Ombudsman and the Law Society of Kenya.
“We have witnessed the State act in flagrant disobedience of court orders for the restitution of broadcast services and even now the State has acted only in partial compliance therewith. By doing so it is violating the Constitution and exhibiting the characteristics of a dictatorship. Do not lead us into anarchy,” Okero told reporters outside the Kisumu Law Courts on Tuesday,” the LSK President Isaac Okero told reporters outside the Kisumu Law Courts on Tuesday.