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January 20, 2019

CA delivered KTN shutdown letter to Bamba an hour after

The Bamba head engineer was instructed to disconnect the platform, an order that was effected at 10.50 am." /File
The Bamba head engineer was instructed to disconnect the platform, an order that was effected at 10.50 am." /File

The Communication Authority of Kenya has retroactively sent an order to close down KTN News on the Bamba platform.

Armed policemen and a CAK official went to Lion Place on Waiyaki Way at 10.30 am on Tuesday and forced the shutdown of KTN News and KTN Home.

The stations were shut at 10.50am.

At midday, the CAK delivered a letter to Lancia Digital Broadcast, the operator of Bamba, instructing that KTN News should be removed from the Bamba platform.

"In view of the defiance of KTN News TV to comply with the government ban on live coverage of the events related to the NASA swearing in, you are directed to remove KTN News TV channel with immediate effect," the letter signed by CAK acting director general Christopher Kemei states.

"Failure to comply with this directive will attract regulatory action," the letter concluded.

It did not quote any legal justification for the order and there had been no official notification of any government ban.

While effecting the order, Communications Authority officer Titus Cheptoo noted live coverage had been banned. 

Cheptoo instructed the Bamba head engineer to disconnect the platform. He then called CAK to confirm that KTN was off air but told Bamba staff to wait for instructions on when KTN could be switched on again.

The order was issued minutes after Citizen, NTV and Inooro TV suffered the same fate ahead of Opposition leader Raila Odinga's inauguration at Uhuru Park.

Royal Media said the CAK switched off its ADN signals at the Limuru station, disabling all transmission. Radio stations in parts of the country have also been affected.

Nation Media's free to air platforms were also shut because of control by the authority but access through DSTV has not been interrupted.

More on this: CA shuts down Citizen, NTV ahead of Raila swearing-in

Kenya Editors Guild chairman, Linus Kaikai, earlier took issue with the summoning of media managers from the main media houses to State House, where shutdown threats were reportedly issued.

Editors were divided after allegations that State House on Friday threatened to shut down TV stations that will broadcast the event live.  

Kaikai said the direct threat was subsequently echoed off record by other senior members of the government.

Read: Editors divided as Uhuru dares media to air Raila's oath

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