Hi all,
The CA yesterday issued a warning to several media houses over their
coverage of the demonstrations on Monday. It’s not posted to their website
yet as far as I can tell but it has been posted to their office twitter
handle here :

I’d like to take sometime to explain why I think their statement is wrong:
So the CA understands these are demonstrations. That’s good

*Today, the Authority completed a review of Broadcast Coverage of
Opposition demonstrations held on 20th March 2023. The Authority has
established that at least Six (6) TV stations, namely, Citizen TV, NTV,
K24, KBC, TV47 and Ebru TV, provided coverage in a manner that violated the
Programming Code. The coverage depicted scenes that could cause panic or
incitement to the public, threating peace and cohesion in the country. The
Authority has, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law,
issued notices to the identified broadcasters to take immediate remedial

*1. Section 33 of the Constitution of Kenya as read together with Section
5B of the Kenya Information and Communication Act, which provide that the
constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Expression, does not extend
to propaganda for war, incitement to violence, hate speech or advocacy of
hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others, or
incitement to cause harm or discrimination;*

The protests and the actions leading to them have been well covered. The
initiator of these protests was the opposition and they made it clear why
they were being called was a perceived disputed election, what they saw as
poor leadership, and raising cost of living. It is their right as enshrined
in the constitution, projected by freedom of speech and by the freedom to
demo, picket and present petitions to public bodies.
Meanwhile those of us who followed the protests on the various media
mentioned by the CA were treated to scenes of people protesting the rising
cost of living especially the cost of food. Nowhere was
*propaganda for war, incitement to violence, hate speech or advocacy of
hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others, or
incitement to cause harm or discrimination *

*2. Clauses 461 (1) (a) Kenya Information and Communications Act which
requires licensed broadcasters to provide responsible and responsive
programming that caters for the varied needs and susceptibilities of
different sections of the Kenyan community;*
Planned and executed nationwide protests I would think is coverage that
whole country would be interested in.

*3. Clauses 19 (1) (c) and (d) Kenya Information and Communications
(Broadcasting) Regulations which requires a licensee to ensure that no
broadcasts by its station “glorifies violence or depicts violence in an
offensive manner; or is likely to incite, perpetuate hatred, vilify any
person or section of the community;*
If we were to go by the broadcasts I saw, and of course this could have
been biased, the only glorification of violence and depict of it in an
offensive manner was done by our police forces. The only report of a death
across the entire country on Monday came at the hands of the police in
Maseno. In fact it could be said, and has by some media houses, the
escalation of violence was by the police.

*4. Clause 10.2.1 of the Programming Code which requires broadcasters to
take care in coverage of crisis situations so as not to hinder or obstruct
efforts by authorities to resolve the situation;*
I don’t have much to say on this other than can the CA please provide
evidence where a boradcastor blocked the police and any other emergency
service trying to do their jobs? Or is the implication of this that they
can’t do their jobs while being recorded or somehow their work is secret
and covert?

*5. Section 5.8.4 of the Programming Code which states that presentation of
news and commentaries must not be done in a way that would create
unnecessary panic or alarm;*
I’d like specific examples of this.

*6. Section 5.8.3 of the Programming Code which states that morbid,
violent, sensational or alarming details that are not essential to factual
reporting are not permissible*
Again. I’d like specific examples of this.

*7. Clause 2.4 of the Programming Code which states that broadcasters are
responsible for the broadcast materials relayed on their stations,
regardless of their source, as well as professional activities of its
This is the only thing in the entire statement I have no issues with. It is

I very strongly disagree with almost everything in this statement. I
understand that some of these laws and policies were put into place after
what we went through as a country in 2007/08 but them being used like this
is a worrying assault of our freedoms, particularly those of expression.

I will be writing to the CA directly and hope that they can bring forth
compelling evidence to back otherwise this is a worrying politicisation of
an agency that has for the most part done it job and stayed neutral/

By admin