NAIROBI, KENYA: Approximately two million Nairobi residents were on Monday switched off from their television programmes following a court directive allowing Communication Commission of Kenya to switch off non- digital compliant TV sets.
High Court Judge David Majanja ruled that digital migration will proceed in Nairobi and dismissed media petition to delay the switch. Leading TV stations went off air locking out many Kenyans without necessary decorders from viewing favourite channels Monday evening. Many missed programmes on stations such as KTN, Citizen, QTV, NTV among others that went off air few minutes to 9pm.
Only stations such as K24, GBS, KBC and KISS TV remained un affected. The Vice-Chair editors Guild Mr. David Ohito termed the move as unfortunate especially when many Kenyans were on holiday and in need of TV channels for for information and entertainment.
â€œIt is a dark Christmas when Kenyans have been denied access to crucial information and a chance to watch favourite TV stations. Another draconian assault on media which shuts out audiences from crucial access to information,â€ he noted. â€œThe Broadcast industry has been mortgaged to selected few and this is truly unfair to law abiding citizens.
The price of the blackout will be unbearable and the greatest losers are Kenyans,â€ said Ohito The High Court had suspended the planned switch from analogue to digital broadcasting to December 23, to allow determination of a suit filed by media houses challenging the Governmentâ€™s plan. The date of switch off was put on hold by 10 days, pending a ruling on the main petition by three media houses – Standard Group, Nation Media Group and Royal Media Services. In the case, the government had been urged to give a transition period of five years.
By the Standard