Human Rights activist Okiya Omtata Okoiti and two other two activists at Milimani law courts who are seeking orders to compel the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to restore free to air services across the country.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Human Rights activist Okiya Omtata Okoiti has filed an urgent application seeking orders to compel the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to restore free to air services across the country.
Mr Okoiti says that the Supreme Court order did not direct CAK to terminate free to air TV services upon which poor Kenyans masses depend exclusively on their view ship.
By implementing the order of the highest court in land, the commission has violated the Bill of Rights and other provisions of the constitution.
He argues that while upholding the dates set by CAK as valid, the supreme court never ordered that the migration period were cast in stone and therefore cannot be changed to suit the needs of the consumers.
The petitioner who has sued the CAK, the minister for Information Fred Matiangi and seven board of directors of the commission, says that the respondents are under obligation to ensure that Kenyans get free to air TV as a right under article 33(1)(a) which entitles NTV, Citizen< KNT and QTV to impart information.
The respondents according to the applicant are promoting pay TV for improper motive which is contrary to the law as provided for under article 73 and 75 of the constitution, saying that article 34 of the statues guarantees freedom of the media.
Supreme Court ruled that the general switch off dates from the analogue to digital platform shall remain as scheduled by the government.
The court directed the three private media houses to abide by all the conditions that had been issued by the court when they were issued with the license.
The Supreme Court also directed the Communications Authority of Kenya to reinstate digital frequencies for three media houses which had been canceled.
In the case the three media houses wanted the court to give them more time and extend the digital migration deadline among other issues.
The court in its judgment agreed that the stage is set for the digital migration.
According to Communication Authority of Kenya the analogue switch off for Nairobi and its environs was scheduled for December 31, 2014. The migration is yet to take effect.
The second phase of the migration, which had been set for February 2, was to cover Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kakamega among other towns.
The third phase which includes Garissa, Kitui, Lodwar, Lokichoggia, Kapenguria ,Voi and Namanga is set for the 30th of March this year.
The ruling therefore means that the digital migration deadline date still remains to be the 15th June this year, with International Analogue switch off date set to be 17th of June this year.
The application was certified as urgent by Justice Weldon Korir and directed the petitioner to serve all the respondent and the matter be heard tomorrow for further directions.