The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) has suspended Mt Kenya TV’s operations for four weeks following violations of programming standards.
The station has further been slapped with a penalty of Sh 500,000, recoverable summarily.
This move follows complaints against the vernacular station for airing inappropriate content on April 19, 2021, at 2pm.
CA Acting Director General Mercy Wanjau said that during the ‘Mucii wa Ciana’ programme that featured an animated movie, the station aired sexually explicit content, drug abuse, robbery, and violence.
“The airing of adult content during the watershed period was a blatant breach of Programming Code and ICT sector Law,” Wanjau said during a media brief held in Nairobi today.
The authority claimed that airing adult content during the watershed period, and at the time when most of the children were at home during the school holidays caused grievous harm to the minors.
The CA Director noted that in its written response to the notice and subsequent oral representation during the hearing the station admitted that the content aired was indeed inappropriate for the watershed period.
Wanjau further said that Mt Kenya TV 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.
Key among the recommendations given to the Mount Kenya by CA during the suspension include that the channel shall put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure compliance with its license terms and conditions.
The TV Station has also been asked to review its internal controls and access to the system for queuing and scheduling of its programmes in order to prevent a recurrence.
The licensee will also avail all the staff of the station to undergo mandatory training of the Programming Code by the CA within seven days.
The TV Station 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.
Last week Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Ezekiel Mutua indicated that the board had received numerous complaints on the matter and vowed that disciplinary action would be taken.
“It should be noted that although the programme has been pulled down, the violation has already been committed as the content had not been submitted to the Board for examination and classification in line with the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 of the laws of Kenya,” read his statement in part.
The station apologised to the audience for the mistake and requested the public for forgiveness following mature content that was aired on one of the children’s programmes.
“We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that it does not happen,” read the station’s apology.
By Alice Gworo