Kenya: Government allows 2 TV stations to resume broadcasting

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Kenya’s government has restored transmission for two TV stations that were shut down last week for attempting to broadcast Raila Odinga’s ceremonial inauguration.

Kenya Television Network and Nation Television News both resumed broadcasting on Monday as police fired tear gas at protesters who were demonstrating against the government’s media clampdown. Service is yet to be resumed for the other two stations shut down during last week: Citizen TV and Inooro TV.

Transmission resumes for two stations

“We are back on air,” said Joe Ageyo, managing editor of Kenya Television Network, as the TV station resumed broadcasting for the first time in seven days. President Uhuru Kenyatta had warned media outlets not to broadcast the symbolic inauguration of Raila Odinga as “the people’s president” prior to the ceremony.

All four of the TV stations shut down last week attempted to cover the event while outlets that ignored the inauguration continued to broadcast.

Various people were also arrested in a move that sparked concern and criticism from activists and lawyers. Kenya has one of the best reputations in Africa for maintaining an open media and freedom of democratic expression, making last week’s crackdown somewhat uncharacteristic.

CTV still off air

Citizen TV and its Kikuyu-language sister station, Inooro TV, still remain off air. Wachira Waruru, managing director of parent company, Royal Media Services, says he suspects the government is retaliating for a court case the company filed against it last week.

“The difference between us and the others is that we went to court and the others didn’t,” he said. “We all covered the same thing.”

Featured image: YouTube

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.