The Star (Nairobi)

7 July 2014

Kenya: Radio Stations Warned Over Hate Speech Content

Photo: Jack Owuor/The Star
Opposition leader Raila Odinga (left) with President Uhuru Kenyatta share a light moment (file photo).

Radio stations found propagating hate speech will be shut down, the Communication Authority of Kenya has said. Director of Consumer and Public Affairs Mutua Muthusi said some stations are taking advantage of the heated political situation to air content that contains hate speech.

“The authority hereby wishes to remind broadcasters that the constitutionally guaranteed Freedom of Expression does not extend to spread of hate speech, propaganda for war, incitement to violence and advocacy of hatred,” Muthusi said in a statement.

The agency urged broadcasters to provide responsible an programming that caters for the needs of different sections of society. “The authority wishes to call on broad- cast media to carry out their mandate within the parameters of the law.

Failure to this, we shall be forced to take the necessary regulatory action, including withdrawal of frequencies,” Muthusi said. The limitations to freedom of expression also apply to conduct on the Internet and offences are actionable in law, he said.

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