KTN News and NTV switched back on after weeklong shutdown

February 5, 2018 7:04 pm
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The four television channels were switched off by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) last Tuesday while broadcasting the ‘swearing-in’ of National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga live from Uhuru Park/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – The government on Monday evening restored broadcasts for KTN News and NTV, following a court order issued last Friday.

Citizen and Inooro televisions, which are owned by Royal Media Services however remained off-air as at 6:45pm Monday.

The four television channels were switched off by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) last Tuesday while broadcasting the ‘swearing-in’ of National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga live from Uhuru Park.

Royal Media Services has since protested the move, saying it has been losing up to Sh25 million daily in advertisement revenue.

On Wednesday last week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi accused the media houses that had been clamped of being complicit in a well thought out scheme to overthrow President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.

“What was witnessed at Uhuru Park was a well-choreographed attempt to subvert or overthrow the legally constituted Government of the Republic of Kenya,” he stated in a statement read to the press at his Harambee House office.

He said the government had credible intelligence on a plan to cause chaos at the NASA event and blame a resultant bloodshed to the police.

The National Police Service (NPS) had withdrawn heavily armed police officers from the Uhuru Park in what sources in the security sector said was a tactical move to pre-empt a confrontation between NASA supporters and security services.

On Thursday, activist Okiya Omtatah secured orders from the High Court ordering the CA to reopen the closed broadcasters.

He, however, said efforts to serve the court order were frustrated prompting him to lodge contempt proceedings against, CA, CS Matiangi, and his ICT counterpart, Joe Mucheru on Monday.

Omtatah accused them of deliberately disobeying court orders despite him effecting the service of the order by publishing it in two local dailies.

The government had insisted that closed television channels would not be opened pending a probe into alleged links to NASA including the self-declared swearing in of Odinga as the People’s President, an action the State had declared illegal.

Following Odinga’s oath, Ruaraka lawmaker Tom Joseph Kajwang was arrested by the police and accused consenting the administration of an oath on Odinga which authorities said bound the NASA chief to commit a capital offense of treason

Kajwang was also accused by the police of organizing a public meeting at Uhuru Park for the purpose of the said oath without notifying the Officer Commanding the Central Police Station in Nairobi, under whose jurisdiction the meeting was held.

He was released on a Sh50,000 bond by Magistrate Lourine Ogombe in Ngong after his lawyers faulted the charged sheet terming the charges preferred against him as “shopped.”

The self-proclaimed General of the outlawed National Resistance Movement (NRM), a civil disobedience wing of NASA, Miguna Miguna was arrested at his Runda home on Friday last week after daring the authorities.

“The illegal arrest of Kajwang must be condemned. It must be opposed and if they arrest any of us, the same. Kajwang did not play any role in the swearing-in. I’m the one who signed the oath and conducted it,” he told the press a day before his arrest.

“If they want to look for the person who is responsible it is me and Odinga. Let them come for us!” he yelled.

Miguna accused the government of being despotic saying that he was ready to face any criminal proceeding in court over his role in the swearing in of Odinga.

Details of Miguna’s whereabouts since his arrest on Friday remained scanty with unconfirmed reforms indicating that he was being held in Lari, Kiambu County.

Justice Luka Kimaru on Monday ordered NPS Inspector General Joseph Boinnet and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations chief George Kinoti to produce Miguna in court at 9 am on Tuesday.

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