In Late November, President Uhuru Kenyatta reshuffled the Cabinet, which saw new members join take up reigns in different ministries. Among those who joined the Cabinet included Joe Mucheru to serve as the ICT cabinet secretary after Fred Matiang’i. During his vetting, CS Mucheru outlined plans to revive state broadcaster KBC. Joe suggested the sale of prime land held by the broadcaster to facilitate its modernization and pay debts owed. He further suggested some of the equipment held at its facilities relocates to Konza City and the land put to good use with the private sector.
Yesterday, the CS visited the state broadcaster’s offices in Nairobi in a familiarization tour. In an update, the chairman of the KBC board said the broadcaster was to embark on a re-branding exercise at a cost of Kshs. 9 Billion. The re-branding exercise was part of a five year strategic plans aimed at reviving and enhance its competitiveness which has hit lower lows in recent times. KBC plans to begin the exercise in the next financial year. The CS challenged KBC to increase its reach in the diaspora as well as use its content in revenue generation. The state broadcaster will sell its content to other players besides using digital platforms to grow its revenues. KBC is mandate to ensure its service are broadcaster across the country, which gives it a huge imprint in Kenya but is yet to tap into this for growth.
KBC problems stem from Kshs. 8.2 Billion loan taken in 1989 to fund the acquisition of medium-wave equipment. KBC expected to pay back the loan from sale of television permits, which were set at Kshs 1,000 per set. According to Business Daily, these permit fees were abolished in 1997 thus denying KBC over half a billion in income. We hope the strategy works.