Human rights activist Okiyta Omtatah at Milimani law court where he is seeking orders to quash the decision of Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to switch off analogue broadcasting should be dismissed.
BY SAM ALFAN.
High Court will determine whether a case by human rights activist Okiyta Omtatah seeking to quash the decision of Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to switch off analogue broadcasting should be dismissed.
Justice Isaac Lenaola will on Tuesday next week decide on the fate of Omtatah’s application whether it should be thrown out on grounds that issues he wants addressed have already been mitigated and a verdict issued by the Supreme Court.
CAK and the Attorney- General through their advocates urged justice Lenaola not to reopen the case saying it would be an abuse of the court process.
“This case is cosmetic and has been repackaged and designed by the respondents hoping to get diverse orders,’’ Argued Lawyer Wambua Kilonzo.
He asked justice Lenaola to respect the court hierarchy by upholding the February 13 2015 decision of the Supreme Court as “it is binding in all courts ‘’.
Wambua refuted claims by Omtatah that the issue of public interest was not canvassed by the apex court arguing that nothing was left to chance.
However Omtatah insisted that his petition has raised new issues that were never addressed by the highest court in the land.
He told judge Lenoala that CAK has selectively implemented the decision of the Supreme Court and in the process violated consumer rights.
The activist claimed the administrative action taken by the respondents in switching off the analogue broadcasting is not anchored on any law.
Omtatah has filed the case on grounds that the Supreme Court never ordered CAK and Information CS Fred Matinag’i to terminate free to air TV services which most Kenyan depend exclusively for their TV viewership.
Omtatah claims that CA, selectively implemented the orders of Supreme Court hence violating the Bill of Rights and other provisions of the Constitution.
It is his argument that after the Supreme Court verdict, migration from Analogue to Digital TV broadcasting should have been handled professionally in a manner that protects the public interests.
He argues that the move should protect the rights of those Kenyans who depend on free to air TV channels.
The petitioner wonders why the regulator cannot allow Nation Media Group, Royal Media Services and the Standard Group resume free to air broadcast for a limited period as they prepare to air digital transmission through the Africa Digital Network platform.
Omtatah has accused the respondents of discharging their mandate of modifying the digital migration incompetently and in total violation of Articles 109(b) and 56 of the Constitution as they did not consider the interests of the marginalized poor who could not afford digital pay TV.