By now, some of you may be aware that Mt. Kenya TV has been closed for the next four weeks by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
The TV station, which airs content in vernacular, is owned by M/s Sloped Media House Ltd.
It was reported that on 19 April, the station broadcasted inappropriate content during the watershed period (between 5 AM an d 10 PM). This is a time when adult content should not be aired.
The title was an animated film called Free Jimmy, which, according to the CA, contained sexually explicit content, drug use, robbery and violence, which is against the Programming code.
It should be noted that this is a holiday period, and many school-going children are at home. The CA says that the station should have known better and avoided the movie altogether at that time.
To this end, the CA has issued a Notice of Violation to the station (sent on April 22). The CA had also summoned the licensee for a detailed explanation about the slip.
The CA has also reviewed the case extensively. It has established that the TV station violated a number of laws related to broadcasting. For instance, Mt. Kenya TV aired a program that was not classified or rated by the KFCB. It also did so without acquiring the requisite IP rights against KECOBO requirements.
To punish the station, the CA has directed it to go offline for the next four weeks or more. During that period, the station will be tasked to get its house in order, including putting appropriate safeguards to ensure compliance as stated in the licensing terms.
The station will also pay KES 0.5 million.
“The CA in recognition of the grave nature of this violation cased by the non-observance of safeguards, in this instance, for the protection of children, will be taking an inter-agency approach to ensure comprehensive corrective action,” says CA’s Director-General Mercy Wanjau.