Governors to challenge radio broadcasting permit denial

By Carol  Kamau

Governors are vowing to move to court to challenge a  decision by  the Communications Authority of Kenya denying them permits to establish radio stations in the county.

The Governors are accusing the authority of violating the constitution and   undermining counties function on public participation.

This comes in the wake of a decision by the communications authority declining to issue radio frequencies to 20 county governments, arguing that broadcast is not a devolved function.

The Authority has directed county governments to use the State-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), for their communication needs.

The Council of Governors chair Peter Munya says they will be move to court to challenge the decision.

Munya says if the country implements devolution there is need for clear mechanisms  for engagement and articulation of community interests.

He observes the counties can meet the need by owning  radio stations  as a medium for public participation saying it would be very costly for them to get air time from commercial  media houses.

Nairobi, Kiambu, Vihiga, Kwale, Meru, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Mandera, Busia, Machakos, Murang’a, Kakamega, and Bomet are among the county governments that had applied for radio permits.

The County Governments Act (2012)allows the devolved units to set up media platforms in order to stimulate citizen participation in the development of policies, plans, and delivery of services in the county.

“A county government shall establish mechanisms to facilitate public communication and access to information in the form of media with the widest public outreach in the county,” reads section 95(1) of the statute.

It further lists six media platforms namely television stations; information communication technology centres; websites; community radio stations; public meetings; and traditional media.

On IFMIS Munya said counties are having challenges with the system and are not able to transact business.

Munya noted that an intergovernmental taskforce formed to look into e-Procurement is yet to be convened which is akin to sabotaging county operations

The governors say they plan to raise their budgetary concerns on Wednesday during the intergovernmental budget and economic council meeting.

  

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