, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – The High Court has ordered the restoration of Citizen TV, NTV and KTN News’ transmissions pending the hearing of a petition filed by Human Rights activist Okiya Omtatah.
Justice Chacha Mwita also directed the respondents, the Communications Authority of Kenya, Interior Ministry and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi not to interfere with their transmissions till then.
“Prayers b and c in the motion are hereby granted. Pending the hearing and determination of this application inter-partes a conservatory order does issue directing the Respondents to forthwith, with immediate an effect, restore all television transmissions by Citizen, NTV and KTN in the pendency of this Application/Petition.”
In his application, Omtatah submitted that the switch off was contrary to the dictates of Articles 10, 47, 73(1), 129 and 153(4) of the Constitution, the Fair Administrative Action Act, and the Statutory Instruments Act.
He stated that the switch off was grossly arbitrary, disproportionate, oppressive, and unreasonable adding that it constitutes illegality, unlawfulness, unreasonableness, and irrationality.
He further states that the action went against the Constitution and that there was no provision in law to support the shutdown.
He stated that unless the application is urgently heard and determined, Kenyans will suffer great loss as the Constitution and the rule of law continue to be violated or threatened.
“Failure to issue a conservatory order will ultimately make the Court’s final decision a mirage as there can be no use of a favourable determination to the Petitioner if the illegal switch off continues while this Petition is pending determination in Court,” he stated.
The channels were shut down for broadcasting live the NASA leader Raila Odinga’s unofficial “inauguration” in Nairobi.
Odinga lost last year’s election and his swearing-in was widely seen as a publicity stunt.