, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 3 – Public Service Vehicle operators playing loud music and tuning into radio stations that discuss graphic content will find themselves in trouble from tomorrow.
The dreaded Ezekiel Mutua, who chairs the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has issue a tough warning for the crackdown that kicks off on Tuesday.
“Every corner of this country will be covered with police officers, they will support us in reinforcing this law, bring sanity and save passengers who are being badly treated and held captive by rogue conductors and drivers,” said Mutua, popularly known on social media pages as the ‘moral police.”
He said the crackdown has been prompted by numerous complaints by passengers who decried the increasing display of inappropriate content in public service vehicles.
He did not name any particular station targetted.
Consequently, Mutua has directed all matatus with fitted screens to apply for licenses and present their content for screening or risk a fine of not less than Sh100,000.
He stressed that screening of unrated content in PSVs had immensely exposed children to obscenity, in what, he said, offends sections of the Sexual Offences Act of 2006 and the Children’s Act.
“Any content exhibited in the PSVs must be rated General Exhibition (GE) for viewers of all ages, the elements that are in the content must not be extreme nudity, violence or vulgar,” he stated.
A statement issued by the board in February 2018 warned against any form of violation by matatu operators who turn themselves into exhibitors by displaying content that had not been submitted to the board examination and classification.
“PSVs are not broadcasters, the mounting of screens for entertainment can only be regulated under the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 of the Laws of Kenya as exhibitors of broadcast content,” he said.
Mutua singled out Langata Road, Magadi Road, Thika Road, Mombasa Road, Eastleigh, Limuru Road, Waiyaki Way and Jogoo Road as being notorious for the menace, based on complaints received.
“These are notorious routes that have become disco and pornographic dens,” he noted.
He also warned drivers of school buses and vans that take pupils to school switch on to radio stations that air adult content.
Further, the board has set up a hotline (+254 748 184 499) for members of the public to report any cases of inappropriate content in the PSVs in any part of the country.
“We urge members of the public to support the board on the crackdown by sending texts or, WhatsApp messages detailing the route, SACCO, vehicle registration or fleet number and where possible snippets of the film content being exhibited,” he said in what is likely to spark controversy in the matatu industry.