Activist Okiya Omtatah has on Friday morning been denied access to the Communications Authority (CA) headquarters to serve a court order issued by the high court on Thursday suspending government orders on media shut down.
According to Omtatah, his Court Process Server went to the CA headquarters to serve them but he detained for two hours, which prompted him to go deliver the orders himself.
“At around 8.00 am today, two men, who introduced themselves as police officers posted at the Communications Authority of Kenya, abducted my Court Process Server at the headquarters of the authority, and detained him until 10 am. Upon release, he contacted me and I decided to come and effect service in person,” Okiya Omtatah said.”
Omtatah further alleged that a man in a black suit, who identified himself as a police officer, blocked his access at the CA gate saying he had strict instructions from above not to allow him or anybody to serve the court order suspending the media shutdown.
He went ahead to post the notice on the wall right next to the gate of the CA premises. He also had the orders published in the local dailies.
High Court Suspends Media Shutdown
A High Court Judge on Thursday directed the Communications Authority (CA) to restore live transmission for TV stations pending a full hearing of the case that was filed by Activist Okiya Omtatah the same day.
Omtatah has sued Communications Authority of Kenya, ICT CS Joe Mucheru and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
The activist argues that the government’s move to shut down the three major TV stations contravened the constitution and is particularly in utter violation of Article 33 and 34 of the Constitution, which guarantee media freedom and access to information.
The government switched off transmission for KTN, CITIZEN and NTV on Tuesday for broadcasting the Raila Odinga Oathing. Interior CS Fred Matinag’i on Wednesday announced that the decision by the government to switch off air the country’s major TV stations will carry on as the government investigates the media houses for “subversion.”