The Communication Authority of Kenya has finally taken disciplinary action against Mt Kenya TV for airing explicit content last week.
On Monday, April 19, 2021, the vernacular station aired an animated movie titled “Free Jimmy” during its ‘Mucii wa Ciiana’ (home of the children) programme. The film contained sexually explicit content and scenes containing drug abuse, robbery, and violence.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Communication Authority said it established that Mt Kenya TV aired the content at 2 pm – during the watershed period – thereby exposing minors to offensive and grievous content.
Authority acting director-general Mercy Wanjau said Mt Kenya TV attributed the violation to a content mix-up in the control room, but failed to explain how the offensive content found its way into the content server.
“In addition, the licensee outlined a raft of measures taken to prevent a recurrence, including instituting internal disciplinary action and a fresh audit of all content lined up for airing to ensure the programming complied with the law,” Mercy Wanjau said.
The authority suspended Mt Kenya TV for four weeks and also imposed a penalty of Sh500,000.
“The authority has directed Mt Kenya TV Channel to go off air from mid-day today for a minimum period of fours weeks, within which time the licensee shall put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure compliance with its license terms and conditions. The station will only go back on air after the authority confirms that it has complied with all the current and outstanding compliance issues,” stated Mrs. Wanjau.
“The Authority notes with great concern that the licensee has continued to countenance non-compliance and as a result some of the issues raised before have remained outstanding for over 120 days. As a result, the authority has imposed a penalty of Ksh.500,000, which is recoverable summarily. These outstanding compliance issues should be closed within 30 days.”
The station was also directed to review its internal controls on access to the system for queuing and scheduling of its programmes to prevent a recurrence of the same, as well as to avail all staff for mandatory training on the Programming Code within 7 days.
The authority further wants Mt Kenya TV to review its editorial policy to align it with requirements of the law on protection of children, and to ensure the Media Council of Kenya accredits its presenter