Media shut down was due to security matters, Says ICT CS Mucheru

ICT CS Joe Mucheru appearing before parliament. FILE/PHOTO

Nairobi, KENYA: The government has defended its decision of shutting down three television stations during the swearing in of NASA leader Raila Odinga on January 30th this year.

Speaking after appearing before Information, Communication and Technology committee at the National Assembly on Friday, ICT cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru said that the government had to uphold such a decision to avert incidences of posing threats to the national security.

He said that even if Kenyans have a right to information security matters of any given country overshadows rights of other matters.

“This is a national security matter the action was affecting the people’s lives, but I can tell you it is the national security matter and the constitution also envisages that as a government we have to protect peoples ‘lives,” Mucheru said

He downplayed a notion that there was total media shutdown indicating that viewership was not affected as such because the media houses that were shut which include NTV, KTN Inooro, and Citizen tv were airing their content via online platforms.

“Media shutdown there was an impression that all media were shut down, we have to clarify that those TV stations were shut down it does not mean media was shut down, they were still providing media information online.”He said

He also denounced allegations that editors of various media houses attended statehouse meeting which was touching on the January 30th swearing-in.

Mucheru has been having difficulty with the senate ICT committee where he was to appear from last week to shed light as to why the government was prompted to shut down media early this year.

The committee indicated that Mucheru is scheduled to appear before it on March 6th.