4 February 2013

Kenyan Court Blocks Further Royal Media Service Transmitter Shutdowns

Kenya's High Court on Sunday (February 3th) issued an injunction against government shutdowns of broadcasting transmitters operated by the Royal Media Service, Kenya's Daily Nation reported.

Royal Media Service sought the injunction after six of its transmitters were shut down on Saturday on grounds that they were operating without permission from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), which had plans to close 11 other transmitters before the injunctions.

Royal Media Service argued that the shutdown would disrupt its operations.

"I have considered the arguments and material placed before the court and I think the petitioner is entitled to have the case heard before drastic action is taken against it by the third respondent (CCK)," said Justice David Majanja. He ordered the two parties to appear in court for a hearing on Monday.

S. K. Macharia, a member of presidential candidate Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Coalition for Reform and Democracy, owns the Royal Media Service, prompting speculation that the shutdown is politically motivated.

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