The government's content regulator yesterday said it was monitoring all free-to-air broadcasts and gathering evidence against media houses that breach the tough new rules that the Communications Authority has gazetted.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) said all media houses will be monitored, issued with compliance certificates. The guilty ones of content breach will not be issued with the key documents which will then determine if the CA will renew their licences.
To this effect, KFCB has slated a meeting with their counterpart CA next week where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed to outline a detailed model of collaboration between the two agencies.
- 1 Cougars: Robbing the cradle or true love?
- 2 Relationships and social media publicity: Will it always end in tears?
- 3 Facebook, Instagram now taking appeals for removed content
- 4 Britain to stop mobile operators selling 'locked' handsets
The agreement will be based on the premise that the agencies are distinct and that some functions require inter-organizational cooperation in order to be achieved effectively and efficiently.
In this partnership KFCB will not recommend renewal of license for any broadcaster that airs content designed to achieve parochial commercial mileage and instant gratification at the expense of upholding the set regulations.
Speaking at his office, KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua discarded the perceptions that the government is out to gag the media through its agencies.
Mutua said for long the media have been left with elaborate freedom with even the state funding the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) in a bid to make them responsible for themselves.
"If these new regulations are being felt as punitive then the media should blame themselves. Broadcasting of sexually suggestive content and airing of raunchy talk shows have continued unabated despite the media being aware that they are breaching the law. Such circumstances are what has invited the action by CA," said Mutua.
Apart from banning sexual radio talk shows and explicit content on television between the watershed period(5am -11pm) the new regulation also went hard on televangelists who are allegedly not allowed to use the platform to ask for offertory or a set amount of money in exchange for a blessing.
More so, preachers have been banned from recruiting followers to their faiths by asking them to convert or get saved.
"This is a sovereign state and Article 33, 34 and 35 of the constitution outlines all the rights and freedoms including that of religion and worship. What we are against is for preachers to use the national frequencies to lash out on other preachers or religions in a bid to acquire more converts," he explained.
However, Mutua was quick to state that the matter is 'delicate' and it will require further consultations with church stakeholders: "The law provides for freedom of worship with the limitation that it does not amount to hate speech or undermine other faiths. It is on this knowledge that we therefore deem it imperative to engage with all relevant players to ensure we meet the provisions of each one of them."
He further stated that already they are conducting a nationwide engagement with the church to iron out the regulations from the suggestion they will have gathered.
"We wish therefore to allay any fears to the effect that the regulations will inhibit the enjoyment of the right to worship. We want to note that prior to the implementation of these regulation they are subject to both inclusive and consultative public debate to ensure they protect national and moral values within the confines of the law," said the KFCB boss.