The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA)has admitted that it cannot remove social media content created by the controversial preacher, Paul Mackenzie.
During his appearance before the Senate Adhoc Committee investigating the Shakahola deaths on Monday, CA Director General Ezra Chiloba acknowledged that the Authority encountered several limitations in addressing Paul Mackenzie’s social media content.
Chiloba said the Authority lacks the authorization to pull down the content.
The CA Director told the Committee that the Authority is bound by legal requirements, which stipulate that they must obtain permission from the relevant social media platforms before taking any action to remove the content produced by Mackenzie.
“What we are doing is putting up content together so that we can build up a case with international social media companies so that they can be able to pull down the content related with Pastor Makenzi and any other misleading religious content in the country,” explained Chiloba.
During his opening remarks, Chiloba informed the committee that Paul Mackenzie’s teachings had ceased airing on Times TV in 2020.
“We do not have the capacity to monitor 140 TV stations we don’t have information on Mackenzie’s teachings between 2015-2020. We analyse filed data Post-facto when there are complaints raised,” Chiloba said.
“Mackenzie’s teachings were not aired on Times TV when we started our investigations. We believe he stopped airing his teachings on TV way back in 2020,” he said.
Chiloba however mentioned that the television station continued to broadcast the content of Pastor Ezekiel Odero, who has also faced accusations of radicalizing his followers.
The CA boss said Pastor Ezekiel Odero aired illegal content on Times TV.
Chiloba informed the senators that Pastor Odero, who leads the Newlife Prayer Center and Church, aired programs that involved exorcism during the watershed period.
“Given the fact that Times TV aired content that demonstrated exorcisms when children are likely to be watching (watershed period), we concluded that there was a violation of guidelines on good taste and decency,” he said.
Chiloba said the Communication Authority (CA) issued a notice of violations to Times TV on April 27, 2023, for broadcasting inappropriate content during the watershed period (05:00 am – 10:00 pm) and other breaches of their license conditions.
He said this was the second notice of violation issued to the station, with the first one being issued on September 20, 2020.