By: Moses Kandie
The month of January was longer than usual for SK Macharia, owner of the media empire – Royal Media Services Company – the flagship company that owns Citizen TV. Trouble started when Macharia declared his support for Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s quest for presidency and subsequent inclusion in the CORD summit.
Speculation is rife as to who could behind the recent tribulations of the media giant, in less than a week the company lost entire staff and crewÂ to competition and then followed the switching off of the company’s transmitting stations in major counties.
…”of all people Macharia should know people! Macharia should have known better that you cannot rattle a snake and get away with it, he should have prepared to be bitten”. Jubilee strategists who requested anonymity said as a joke in reference to the late Hon Michuki’s remark when the Standard Newspaper was raided mercenaries led by the famous Arthur brothers.
On Tuesday, some of the influential personalities in the Jubilee Alliance met at the Muthaiga Golf Club where they expressed their unhappiness to SK Macharia and told him to â€œtoe the line.â€Â The Star reported.
On Wednesday evening a well known team Uhuru social media spins master shocked Facebook community with revelations that leading journalists including crew members of RMS had been bought off at exorbitant wage rates and were heading to Uhuru Kenyatta’s MediaMax, the flagship company that owns K24 (Kenyatta 24?).
“I can assure you that Macharia will be taught some lesson, the poaching of hisÂ creme de la cremeÂ are just but a start”Â offered another Jubilee supporter with inside information.
It is alleged that in the Muthaiga meeting consensus was that Macharia be taught some lesson at least legally pending further measures.
On Saturday,Â when most government agencies are off duty, theÂ Communication Commission of Kenya director general Francis W. Wangusi announced that his team had shut down six Royal Media Services broadcast transmitters that were operating without licenses.
Immediately the announcement by CCK came to the public attention many on social media pointed fingers at Uhuru Kenyatta’s powerful hand, with many wondering the timing of such act as it could be so obvious to implicate him in the court of public opinion.
Citizen TV is the boast viewership of millions of Kenyans, whatever illegality they may have committed should not warrant such drastic action especially when it hurts the public interest. Since we are in an electioneering period and wananchi should be allowed unvetted access to information to make informed decisions.
“And what happens to the many business owners who had booked advertisements in the station? Employees and the millions of Kenyan viewers? Individual interest should not override such greater public interest” a Nairobi based lawyer said.
“If this is the Uhuru power better we go for Ole Kiyiapi, the dark forces are feeling the Railaeffect/CORD effect” said a human rights activists in Nairobi.
“Poaching leading staff members by Uhuru was not effective enough, a more effective way was to switch off the transmitters and that is exactly what they have, we wonder what will be next”– offered a media critic based in Nairobi.
“they forgot that the audience of citizen TV will be voting come 4th March, some of the affected regions are classified as swing vote, this being a close race I suspect the competence of their strategists, the effect of Citizen TV campaigning for Raila was minimal than disabling their transmitting stations” a Nairobi based political analyst said
The Kenya public should demand better from the fast fading Kibaki regime, the choice is still clear come March 4th; vote progressive leadership or stick with proxies of status quo hell-bent on safeguarding their personal interest and not the public good.