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Kenyan government threatens to shut radio station

The Kenyan government has threatened to shut down a vernacular radio station for allegedly stoking ethnic tensions that culminated in the post-election violence earlier in the year.
In a statement to the press, the information ministry threatened to revoke the Kass FM's broadcasting licence, ostensibly for airing material deemed prejudicial to national security. In a query to the station that broadcasts in Kalenjin, the government asked it to show cause why its licence should not be cancelled.

The permanent secretary in the information and communication ministry, Bitange Ndemo, alleged that on 31 May, 2008, the station aired a programme that suggested that members of certain communities were fighting for their democratic rights during post-election skirmishes and did not require amnesty.

He accused the station of 'failing to live up to journalistic standards,' saying 'you are required to show cause, within 72 hours of the date thereof, why your broadcasting licence should not be withdrawn.'

The post-election violence was precipitated by the disputed 27 December elections in which incumbent President Mwai Kibaki and then chief opposition challenger, Raila Odinga, claimed victory. It culminated in the skirmishes which left 1,200 people dead and 250,000 others displaced. (Afrique en ligne)


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