Chiloba to Repossess TV, Radio Stations' Licenses

  • Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) Director General Ezra Chiloba
    Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Ezra Chiloba gives an address at a past event.
  • Communications Authority (CA) Director-General Ezra Chiloba has announced that the authority plans to repossess all unused broadcast licences.

    Speaking on Wednesday, December 15, Chiloba stated that the CA planned to redistribute the repossessed licences to new investors. 

    The CA boss further revealed that more than 425 licences that were given in the first quarter of 2021, remained unused.

    Chiloba also vowed to reform the regulatory framework that is pertinent and responsive to the needs of the times.

    Former IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba.
    Former IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba.

    He stated that the CA’s role had shifted from being a policeman to that of a facilitator.

    According to Chiloba, the dwindling advertising revenues, staff layoffs, digital disruption and the pandemic had affected the industry and it would take innovation from the media players and their regulators.

    “On our part, we recognise the fact that drastic disruption and convergence of media structures and systems, requires a regulatory framework that is relevant and responsive. It is for this reason that we have embarked on a regulatory reform journey,” Chiloba stated.

    The threat to withdraw licences by Chiloba comes in the backdrop of a raft of measures by the Communications Authority of Kenya to tame rogue broadcasters.

    In December, the CA banned Pastor James Ng'ang'a's TV station from broadcasting live its events.

    In the statement signed by Chiloba, Neno Evangelism Centre - a broadcaster operating as Sasa TV - was ordered to stop airing live programming with immediate effect for a period of six months.

    The decision was arrived at following investigations of content considered inappropriate that aired by Sasa TV during the watershed period on October 3, 2021.

    Chiloba also shut down a radio station after raiding its premises in Tena Estate, Nairobi. The authority indicated that it had closed Gituamba FM, a Kikuyu vernacular radio station, that was operating at Puma Court within the estate. 

    A statement released on Tuesday, December 7, CA stated that the station was operating unlawfully after its owner failed to acquire a license and other relevant documents.

    A signage showing the Communications Authority of Kenya
    A signage showing the Communications Authority of Kenya