The Media Council of Kenya has called for stern action against media houses running illegal betting activities that were fleecing Kenyans.
The Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Omwoyo lamented that some of the media houses, especially community FM radio stations were behaving like shylocks, cheating Kenyans enter into fictitious betting activities by sending in money or messages so as to win a lottery.
Speaking in Siaya town Wednesday during a media literacy forum that brought together Journalists, Government officials and members of the Civil society, Omwoyo said many community and even national FM radio stations were running games or betting activities which is against the law as they do not have the necessary licenses to conduct the same.
He reiterated that it was illegal to engage in betting activities while licensed to do broadcasting.
Subsequently, the CEO urged the Betting Control and Licensing Board and the Communications Authority to help the Media Council reign on such companies that dupe the public to enter into illegal games and betting activities.
Omwoyo said it was the high time that media outlets chose whether they wanted to become betting companies or broadcasting business.
“I know the issue of sustainability makes stations become aggressive in looking for money but this must not be done through running non-existent and illegal betting that fleeces the public,” he said.
The CEO challenged journalists to be professional while carrying out their activities, adding that failure to do this paints the entire profession negatively.
Omwoyo further called on journalists to acquaint themselves with the relevant laws dealing with access to information so as to be on the safe side while performing their duties.
The media literacy forum was also attended by the Siaya county police commander, Francis Kooli, the county government director of communications, Auscar Wambiya and the media council deputy CEO, Victor Bwire among others.
By Philip Onyango