Media blackout: CORD postpones Okoa Kenya referendum bill launch
17 February 2015, 13:10
Nairobi - The CORD coalition has postponed the Okoa Kenya Referendum bill launch set for Wednesday as a result of the TV switch-off of 3 major media houses.
The coalition was set to launch the bill Wednesday at the Bomas of Kenya but with the three major media houses, NTV, KTN and Citizen TV all off air, the coalition says Kenyans will be denied the chance to see the message spread by the coalition.
Leader of the committee of experts Paul Mwangi says that there is no need to launch the bill unless Kenyans are able to see the message the coalition needs to spread.
" We have postponed it for the time being because this process needs public inclusion which will not be achieved unless the television stations are on air," he said Tuesday.
" The shut down of a section of the media by the state denies Kenyans the fundamental right to information," he added.
The media houses have been hit by a blackout after they were switched off analogue signal after failing to adhere with a set guideline from the government.
According to official figures, the three stations account for close to 70% of total TV viewership in the country.
The postponement will be yet another setback to the referendum campaign, which has been hit by lack of quorum from political leaders from within and outside CORD.
Governors, who had also supported the referendum have taken a step back and are now mulling other options aside from the referendum.
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