The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has ordered the shutdown of Gituamba FM, a radio station that has been operating in Nairobi illegally.
In its statement by CA Director-General Ezra Chiloba on Tuesday, December 7, the CA found that the station was operating from a residential building at Puma Court, Tena Estate which sits next to the popular Umoja Estate in the city.
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Gituamba FM was found to be broadcasting without a licence from the authority, contrary to the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 (KICA).
CA also reported that the station’s owner was arrested and will be processed in court to be charged with setting up a radio station without proper licensing.
“During the operation, the station’s owner, one Mr Nelson Githinji Ndegwa was arrested. He will be arraigned in court and charged with the establishment of a radio communication station without a valid licence, contrary to Sections 35(2), 46C and 46Q of the KICA.
“The suspect is currently in custody at the Buruburu Police station, Nairobi, awaiting presentation in court,” read the statement by CA in part.
It added that operating an illegal radio station may cause interference of licensed broadcasters, compromising the quality of broadcasting services available to consumers.
“Anyone wishing to provide information and communication services in the country must ensure they obtain appropriate licences from the authority without fail,” added the statement.
The CA, under Chiloba’s administration, has been hard at work weeding out the irregularities dogging the Kenyan media space as the country inches closer to the 2022 General Elections.
At any given election period, media houses, with the inclusion of new media in recent years, have been showing off their real talents and capabilities in giving Kenyans minute-by-minute updates regarding the polls, known to bring the country to a grinding halt.
The CA on Saturday, December 4, shut down Sasa TV, a station owned by controversial Nairobi pastor James Ng’ang’a.
Neno Evangelism Centre in which Sasa TV operates under was ordered to stop airing live programmes for six months, effective immediately.
“The Communications Authority of Kenya has directed M/S Neno Evangelism Centre, a broadcaster operating as SASA TV, to stop airing live programming with immediate effect. This directive shall be observed for a period of six months,” read the CA’s statement in part at the time.
Sasa TV was directed to ensure that it has adequate and qualified personnel duly accredited by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK).
The Authority also directed the broadcaster to ensure that staff undergo mandatory training on appropriate operations of the Profanity Delay Mechanism system, management of live broadcasts, broadcasting legal framework, consumer protection, and complaints handling.
The MCK had raised an alarm towards the station on Thursday, October 28 after it provided him with the platform to address not just his church audience but to his TV audiences who were watching from home.
It was referring to a video clip that went viral on social media on Sunday, October 9 where he warned Kenyan nurses against groping his private parts in the event of his death.