Friday 02 February was the third day for the three main television stations in Kenya to be switched off after airing live footage as the opposition prepared to swear-in Raila Odinga as the “People’s President”.
The Nation Media Group’s NTV, Royal Media’s Citizen, and Standard Group’s KTN News went off air mid-morning of Tuesday this week while showing live broadcasts of National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters who had gathered at the historic Uhuru Park from as early as 5am.
The Kenyan government had on Monday been reported to have warned the media against airing Mr Odinga’s oath taking.
According to reports the government previously had summoned some media representatives last week and were threatened with shutdown and revocation of licences should they broadcast live the planned Nasa “swearing in”.
Other reports stated that the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) engineers had been told to be on standby on Tuesday 30th January 20111 at the country’s main transmission station in Limuru, in central Kenya, should any local TV station broadcast live the event at Uhuru Park.
The “inauguration” has raised fears of violence as police had vowed not to allow the event to go ahead. However, officers kept their distance as hundreds gathered at the Uhuru Park venue.
Government expected to restore the signals after High Court suspended the switch off for 14 days pending case being heard. However, all the three TV stations remained off air despite a court order on Thursday that they be allowed to resume broadcasting, overturning a government-ordered shut down.
SOURCE: Online News, Nairobi