Parliamentary Committee on Broadcasting and Library has partnered with the Kenya Broadcasting Cooperation (KBC) with the aim of securing more airtime for house proceedings to the benefit of the public.
On Thursday, while on a fact-finding mission in Migori County to assess the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) infrastructure within the County, Committee chair Mr Justus Kizito regretted that the 12-hour airtime allocation per week offered for both National Assembly and the Senate was not enough and that efforts were being made to increase the airtime in future.
Kizito said that they had launched countrywide mission of inspecting KBC Infrastructure and transmission and to establish the public response on parliamentary proceedings.
He pointed out that this mission was initiated to address questions and concerns that have been raised overtime by electorate over their elected leaders who have never been heard making any contributions in either assembly.
The committee chairman explained that they were partnering with KBC because the corporation has the largest network coverage and transmission across the country, adding that that they would rely entirely on the corporation’s infrastructure for their newly proposed television channel called Bunge TV.
“As Broadcasting and Library Committee we want to set up broadcast stations that will cover all parliamentary proceedings, committee discussions as well as field discussions including benchmarking our country abroad,” said Kizito.
The Chair said that the committee’s main aim was to ensure that all Kenyan citizens are up to date with the parliamentary proceedings across all the assemblies right from County level, the National Assembly, and the Senate.
He said that the committee was in the process of opening all the channels to the members of the public, adding that the effort will help the electorates know what their elected leaders were doing on a day-to-day basis as the channels will be broadcasting on a 24-hour clock.
Kizito also acknowledged that the channel will help the three assemblies to tell their own stories.
The chair added that the Broadcasting and Library Committee is doing this to take advantage of the country’s better position worldwide as a hub of communication.
“We don’t want Kenya parliament’s stories to be told in a different way other than how we do it, “said Kizito.
The Chair said that with the success of the initiative, members of the public will be in a better position to watch all parliament’s proceedings across all assemblies on a new television channel called Bunge TV.
He said that the channel’s main aim will be to provide information to the public and not profit oriented.
He however, emphasized that their fact-finding mission will enable them to do reviews on subscription whether the public will have to pay to watch this channel, or it will be free to air.
Migori County Women Representative Dr Pamela Odhiambo who is also a member of the committee pointed out that the fact-finding mission will help them address queries raised by the public and give more information about the parliamentary, senate and county assemblies proceedings to the electorates.
Odhiambo said that some of the Members both in County, National and Senate Assemblies have been accused of not speaking on the floor.
“I want to tell the electorates that much of the decisions are done in committees. It is the responsibility of our chair then to present what we discussed on the floor of the house,” said Odhiambo.