Mr Mutua said freedom of speech was being abused by radio presenters who allow inciteful comments to be aired on live telecasts. Although Mutua did not name the stations, local FM stations regularly organise call-in programmes where some callers make incendiary remarks about immigrant tribes and support separatism.
Mutua said hate agenda is often promoted by the owners of the stations but Monday he threatened that airwaves of offending media will be withdrawn.
“Let them be forewarned that airwaves which they use for transmission are national resources and they must adhere to set rules and regulations governing media operations in Kenya,’’ he said. There are five FM stations in Coast Province broadcasting in local languages and Swahili and Monday Mutua said the Government and MCK has written warning letters to some of them.
“We have the MCK who shall ensure the FM stations adhere to work ethics and help promote unity among Kenyans irrespective of their party affiliations or ethnicity,’’ Mutua said, adding media should not promote tribal propaganda.
Media scholar Joe Kadhi claimed journalists are not reporting the MRC issue responsibly hence fanning emotive understanding of historical injustices.
“It all boils down to issues of professionalism. The nuts and bolts of news presentation and the need to adhere to the code of ethics has to be followed to the hilt here,’’ Kadhi stressed.
He said MRC is a story about conflict and free media should address all necessary facets, including exploring solutions.
MCK chairman Levi Obonyo said the agency has developed a training curriculum for all journalists and a code of ethics that it would enforce during the polls, adding that some journalists were ill trained.
IEBC regional coordinator Amina Masoud said voter registration at the Coast was very low and urged the media to foster interest.
Other MCK members who attended the Mombasa forum included Nelly Matheka, Sarah Nkatha, Okong’o Omogeni and Eric Orina.
In the Malindi case the two children were detained after they were found writing separatist slogans in support of the MRC on a church wall in Kilifi on Sunday.
Police say the two were founding inscribing the Pwani Si Kenya slogan, which is used by the outlawed Mombasa Republican Council to spread separatism.
The police boos said the two were caught writing the words on the wall of a church before the information was passed to local Administration Police officers who arrested them.
“We are holding two school children at the Kilifi police station for interrogation over claims that they were caught writing the words Pwani si Kenya on the wall of a church on Sunday,” said Wangai Monday.
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