Kenya Film Classifications Board Boss Dr. Ezekiel Mutua has backed the Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA) decision to suspend and fine vernacular station, Mt Kenya TV, after airing unsuitable content.
Sharing his sentiments via Twitter, Dr. Mutua urged media outlets to take responsibility and avoid exposing young children to adult content or else face the consequences.
“Mt. Kenya TV violated content regulations by airing pornographic content. Now CA has shut them off for a month and slapped a 500k on them. Protection of children from premature exposure to adult content is a collective responsibility. I hope this will serve as a lesson to others,” he wrote.
The matter was brought to the KFCB boss’s attention about a week ago after an uproar by the public demanding the station to pull down the programme that aired on the afternoon of April 19. It featured an animated movie dubbed Mucii wa Ciana., containing sexually explicit content and scenes of drug abuse and violence.
The station pulled down the programme and later issued a public apology.
“We are requesting for your forgiveness following mature content that was aired on one of the children’s programs. We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that it does not happen,” read the apology statement.
However, Mutua said the damage had already been done, and therefore, the station had to face the consequences.
“It should be noted that although the program has been pulled down, the violation has already been committed as the content had not been submitted to the Board for examination and classification in line with the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 of the laws of Kenya. The timing of airing such explicit content disguised as a children program is a serious offense…it exposes children to adult experiences.
“We thank members of the public for drawing our attention to this issue and appeal for more vigilance to protect children from exposure to harmful content,” he wrote.
The CA suspension
In a statement issued by the Communications Authority of Kenya, Mount Kenya TV is said to have breached the Programming Code and ICT laws by airing content without clearance from the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and failing to acquire the necessary intellectual property rights from the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo).
The Slopes Media House-owned station was ordered to pay a fine of Sh500,000 and directed to submit all its content to the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) for evaluation. Its staff would undergo mandatory training at the CA.
“The Authority established that the licensee had aired adult content during the watershed period, and at a time when most children were at home during the school holidays, thus occasioning grievous harm to the minors who may have been exposed to the offensive content.
“The licensee outlined a raft of measures taken to prevent a recurrence, among them internal disciplinary action and a fresh audit of all content lined up for airing to ensure compliance with the law,” the CA said.