BY SAM ALFAN.
High court has directed the government to restore all television stations that had been shut down by CAK.
The court has also issued a conservatory order barring the government from interfering with all television transmission by citizen, KTN and NTV.
“That Pending the hearing and determination of this application inter-partes a conservatory order does issue directing the Respondents to forthwith, with immediate effect, restore all television transmissions by the 1st to 3rdInterested Parties in the pendency of this Application/Petition” ordered Mwita J.
Activist Okiya Omatatah this morning filed a case at the High Court challenging government decision to switch off Citizen TV, KTN News and NTV.
In the petition Omtata argues that the shutdown is illegal and there is no provision in law to support the said shutdown.
Omtata said that government must be stopped from ignoring the rule of law which is a key national value and principle of governance.
The three media houses have been named as interested parties inthe case whereas CAK,CS Fred Matiangi and CS information,Communication and Technology together with the Ag have been named as respondents.
“The respondents action violates the prohibition in article 34(2)which bars the state from exercising control over or interfering with any person engaged in broadcasting the production or circulation of any publication,”reads court documents
Omtata is also seeking an order for compensation of the three media houses for Loss incurred during the switch off .
Omtata says that the respondents action violates the right to freedom of expression by limiting freedom of expression.
He further says that the public right to information under article 35 is directly affected since the switch off has curtailed the public right of access to information broadcast by the media houses.
He argued that CAK without giving warning and any reasons, in the morning of 30th January, 2018, the Respondents switched off (shut down) free to air transmission on television channels owned by the 1st to 3rd Interested Parties.
He said the respondents’ action violates the right to freedom of expression by limiting freedom of expression on grounds that have no proximate relation to the limitations permitted by the Constitution on the freedom of expression underA rticle 33(2) – propaganda for war, incitement to violence, hate speech, or advocacy of hatred under Article 33(2)(d).
The shutdown was as a result of broadcasting the National Super Alliance (NASA) event at Uhuru Park despite state order barring TV stations to air the event live.