Photos:Kenyans pull stunts to reverse government digital migration
Kenyans are pulling all stunts to have the government withdraw the analogue signal switch off for TV stations, and give media houses and citizens more time to prepare for the digital migration through purchase of set-up boxes.
On Friday morning, civil society members dumped old analogue TV sets at the gate of the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) during a demonstration held against the way digital migration was carried out in the country.
The stage was set with the TV sets infront of the gate together with live and slaughtered chicken, that labelled the digital migration process as another chickengate scandal going on to fleece Kenyans off their money and into the pockets of a few.
The demonstration was by civil society members of UNGA REVOLUTION who were led by their Convener John Wamagata.
Mr Wamagata said, “We want President Uhuru Kenyatta to fire the Cabinet Secretary Information Fred Matiangi and CAK Director General Fred Wangusi for their unprofessionalism in handling the digital migration. The two have chest thumped and are not listening to the affected parties while the country loses millions in shillings as Kenyans stay in the dark unknown to them the goings on in the country.”
He, however, made it clear that they were not against the migration from analogue to digital transmission but called for government to give media houses time to import their own boxes without the unnecessary rush.
“We have rich and poor Kenyans, and most cannot afford paying for TV every month. So let the media houses bring their setup boxes that will have no monthly expenses,” he said.
Three TV stations NTV, KTN and Citizen TV have been off air for the last two weeks after the government pulled down their analogue masts in Limuru.
A resident of Kangemi, neighbouring the CAK offices, Nelson Odhiambo said he did not have spare Sh600 to pay every month for TV and his family would rather watch movies or listen to the radio.
“We want setup boxes that do not need monthly payments because life is hard as it is for us to have another financial burden on our shoulders,” said Odhiambo.
Although nobody from CAK came to speak to those demonstrating, Mr Wangusi in previous briefings said Kenya did not apply for the extension in digital migration as 30 other african states did and so must keep to the June deadline.
If by next week the TV stations are off, Unga Revolution will hold another demonstration on Friday March 6, outside the Ministry of Information offices in Nairobi.
The government has, however, weathered many storms coming their way in the wake of making the country digital. The government was in court in a case filed by some media owners, and Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) over the analogue to digital migration.
(Unga Revolution advocates for a cheaper life for Kenyans mostly targeting the price of maize flour (unga) to be as low as Sh30. The revolution also uses pigs and rats in their demonstrations to communicate their message, and for the digital migration, they used old TV sets and chicken.)
By Anne Njeri Kanina-HTBluff Associates. An EMG Consortium #HTBLUFF/Diaspora Messenger contributor
They said the digital migration was another chicken gate scandal where Kenyans were forced to buy setup boxes from certain quarters
There were tens of police officers providing security during the demonstration since the demonstration was allowed and licensed at the Muthangari police station and also to avoid forced entry into the CAK grounds
Civil society members of the UNGA REVOLUTION took the war of digital migration in Kenya at the gates of the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK). They said they were not against the digital migration but the manner in which it was carried out. They asked the authority to switch on the analogue signal and give media house and the citizens ample time to go digital.