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Kenya's Editors Guild Gives Government Ultimatum to Lift Ban on Live Coverage


The Kenya Editors’ Guild has given the government of President Mwai Kibaki 24 hours from Wednesday to lift the government’s ban on live TV and radio coverage of the country’s post-election activities. Macharia Gaitho is chairman of the Guild and editor with Nation Media Group of Kenya. He told VOA the editors have several options against what he described as the government’s nebulous ban.

“Our options are very open. But we did mention that we have the option of going to court, and we also have the option of, like we did with the Media Bill when we held silent protests through the streets of Nairobi. Of course we are aware that in this turbulent political times a demonstration or a protest might not allowed with so much political demonstrations taking place which we don’t want to be involved with. But the point is that other than legal means, we will use all the pressure we can to get that ban lifted,” he said.

Macharia said the government’s ban has hurt the ability of journalists to cover the events that have been unfolding since the December 27 election

“It has hindered our work. There has been a lot happening, a lot of events, which we would want to cover live, which is very suspicious of course that the ban was imposed just at the time when the media was covering live the announcement of elections results,” he said.

In the meantime, Macharia said the editors have been consulting with their lawyers and all media organizations in the country.

He said the journalists are not concerned whether the government might brand them as opposition sympathizers.

“This is not a matter of government or opposition. I think it’s a matter of us as professionals doing our job the best way we know without hindrance,” Macharia said.

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