The Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) Wednesday suspended Mt Kenya TV’s operations for a month for violating programming standards.
The Authority took this decision after it received complaints against the vernacular channel over the airing of inappropriate content last week.
Authority acting director-general Mercy Wanjau said the TV channel which is owned by Slopes Media House Ltd, had aired inappropriate content during the watershed period.
‘On April 19, 2021, at 2pm, during the ‘Mucii wa Ciina’ program that featured an animated movie, the station aired sexually explicit content, drug abuse, robbery, and violence,” she said.
She added that this was in blatant breach of the Broadcasting Regulations, the Program Code, and the terms and conditions of the station’s broadcasting license.
The inappropriate movie was aired at a time when children were likely to be watching the broadcast unsupervised given that schools are closed and during a pandemic, which has limited other forms of entertainment.
Wanjau said that in its written response to the notice and subsequent oral representation during the hearing, the tv acknowledged that the content aired was indeed inappropriate for the watershed period and attributed the violation to a content mix-up in the control room, but failed to explain how the offensive content landed on the content server.
The Authority also imposed a fine of Sh500,000 for non-compliance issues by the station that has remained outstanding for more than 120 days and will only be allowed on air once it has confirmed that the station has met all the current and outstanding compliance issues.
The station has also been ordered to avail all the staff to undergo mandatory training of the Programming Code by the CA within seven days.
It will also review its editorial policy to align it with requirements of the law on the protection of children and to file a copy with the authority.
The Authority further said that the station had also aired the content that had not been classified or rated by the Kenya Film Classification Board.
Further, CA said that the channel aired the content without acquiring the requisite intellectual property rights against the Kenya Copyrights Board’s requirements.
In their defense, Mt Kenya attributed the violation to the ongoing staff changes and to possible sabotage.