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Royal Media withdraws TV switch-off suit

Nancy Gitonga and Dinah Ondari @PeopleDailyKe

Royal Media Services and Africa Digital Networks (ADN) yesterday withdrew a case in which they had sued the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) for switching off Citizen and Inooro TV signals.

High Court judge Chacha Mwita allowed the application by the RMS lawyer Gibson Kuria Kamau after the parties agreed on an out-of-court settlement. “Since the applicant and respondents had fruitful negotiations and agreed on the case to be withdrawn after the respondents complied with interim orders to reinstate the stations which was done on February 8, I here by withdraw the matter,” ruled Mwita.

The CA switched off several TV stations on January 30 for broadcasting the mock swearing-in of Nasa leader Raila Odinga. The transmission of three other TV stations were reinstated after seven days save for Citizen and Inooro. Justice Mwita, at the same time, declined an application by CA to have the media house pay costs for the suit, saying it was filed in good faith.

Meanwhile, ICT Cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru will this morning appear before the Senate committee on ICT to give an account of the closure of four TV stations on January 30.

The House team wants Mucheru to also shed light on the move to transfer the Universal Service Fund (USF) from the CA to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The Baringo Senator Gideon Moi-led committee will also seek answers on the dominance of Safaricom in the mobile telephone market. Vice chair Halakhe Abshiro yesterday said the CS is expected before the committee this morning.

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