As the 3 Stations Return on Air, Here are The Lies They’ve Been Telling You

March 4, 2015

gmNOTES FROM A GREAT ARTICLE: If the three broadcasters are to have their content on the two BSD, we need to understand how the ownership of PANG or SIGNET affects them.
Some commentators have stated that the BSD can switch off the signals of the broadcasters and that the risk amounts to limitations of Freedom of the Media. It is important to note that, of the three broadcasters, only Citizen TV has its own infrastructure and is not hosted by third parties. In most locations in the country, KTN, QTV and NTV are hosted on analogue transmission sites belonging to companies such as Mast Rental Limited, KBC and other service providers. SIGNET also leases transmission sites belonging to other companies in the spirit of infrastructure sharing that has rules to protect the broadcasters from interference with their signal.
This negates the argument that broadcasters cannot use or have never used third parties to house and maintain their transmitters.
The broadcasters have however made the case that infrastructure sharing with their current service providers is different because PANG is a owned by shareholders of Chinese extraction while SIGNET is the subsidiary of the government-ran KBC. The broadcasters recently revealed that there is a shadowy Kenyan shareholder in PANG who owns around 7% of the company.
However, they did not reveal that PANG is required by law – and as highlighted in their licence obligations – to offload and make public at least 20% Kenyan shareholding.
The Kenyan shareholders were to be named by the end of the PANG’s third year of operation in October 2014. This was made clear in the 2011 open tender for a second BSD and when the matter was brought to the attention of the Public Procurement Review Board.
There is therefore no sinister motive in having a Kenyan shareholder in PANG. What the broadcasters should demand is that the shareholding must be a tleast 20% and must be made public according to the law.
by Eng Wainaina Mungai

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