CS Mucheru: TV shutdown was a matter of national security


CS Mucheru: TV shutdown was a matter of national security

In Summary

  • ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has refused to diverge why the government shutdown four top television stations for 10 days in January saying it was about national security concerns.
  • His explanation did not go down well with Gideon Moi, the chair of the Senate committee but let him off the hook for now to also see whether to invite Dr. Matiang'i to answer.
  • The committee had summoned Mr. Mucheru to explain the controversial media shutdown of Citizen TV, Inooro TV, KTN and NTV that denied Kenyans access to information for 10 days. He missed two summons explaining that they clashed with his work schedules.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has refused to diverge why the government shutdown four top television stations for 10 days in January saying it was about national security.

The Information, Communication and Technology CS, while appearing before the Senate Committee on ICT, Mr. Mucheru also said the matter was before court and could not be discussed in public.

The committee had summoned Mr. Mucheru to explain the controversial media shutdown of Citizen TV, Inooro TV, KTN and NTV that denied Kenyans access to information for 10 days. He missed two summons explaining that they clashed with his work schedules.

“Just to be clear, I am not hiding, I am following due process in the law, the matter is on court and I cannot discuss it in public,” said Mr. Mucheru.

“Number two, it is about national security and there are processes that would be used. What I can tell you is the government’s commitment to freedom of the press, to access to information is unwavering.”

His explanation did not go down well with Gideon Moi, the chair of the Senate committee but let him off the hook for now to also see whether to invite Dr. Matiang’i to answer.

“We represent the people of Kenya and they have been clamoring to know what happened and why it happened. We are determined to get to the bottom of this unfortunate, ugly episode,” said Mr. Moi.

“I will consult and invite you again to try and resolve this issue. It is important such things do not occur again, does not reflect well on you and on us.”

On the issue of Universal Service Fund (USF) which is intended to promote universal access to telecommunications services in the country, Mr. Mucheru said the government is committed to ensuring broadcasting services are available everywhere.

He was flanked by Francis Wangusi, Communications Authority Director General.

 

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