FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THE CURRENT MEDIA SHUTDOWN IS AN AFFRONT TO PRESS FREEDOM
The Open Media Foundation (OMF) is greatly concerned with the systemic pattern of state engineered processes seeking to suppress the current political and media space in Kenya. This coming immediately after a grueling political season does not in any way inspire confidence of a people that is on a healing path.
The shutting down of NTV, Citizen TV, KTN News & Inooro TV – independent media houses; without due process as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya, Media Council Act, Kenya Information and Communications Act and the Fair Administrative Action Act is an abuse of delegated powers and seeks to undermine the rule of law. The above mentioned pieces of legislation have outlined a clear procedure for seeking redress where anyone including the government is aggrieved on any content aired by the media.
Any arbitrary action without prior notice or opportunity to be heard offends the sacred principles of natural justice. We remind President Uhuru Kenyatta that he swore to defend and protect the Kenyan Constitution and other relevant laws including the Bill of Rights that promotes freedom of expression, freedom of the media and access to information.
The Courts have pronounced themselves on this subject and their orders though some might not agree with are sacrosanct and must be respected at all times. It is only through fidelity to our laws that we shall proudly say we are a constitutional democracy.
Therefore, as OMF, we urge the concerned state agencies to unconditionally allow media houses to resume their normal broadcasting and should there be any legitimate grievances then the same should be ventilated through established systems and institutions.
Naftal Nyabuto –
Chairman, OMF Board of Trustees.