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Media owners threaten to sue film board over no-sex-on-TV crusade

May 2nd, 2016 2 min read

Media owners have threatened to sue the Kenya Film Classification Board for overstepping its mandate by attempting to regulate programmes and advertisements on television.

The Media Owners Association (Moa) sounded the alarm over continued assault on freedom during an annual general meeting last week, citing over-regulation by State agencies and enactment of laws that shrunk the space for practising journalism.

“An increased and adverse regulatory environment and duplication of oversight by government agencies has resulted in the infringement of the freedom of the press and expression,” said Moa in a statement signed by its Chairman Hanningtone Gaya.


KFCB had two weeks ago banned advertisements and commercials that feature sexual innuendos and sexually suggestive scenes, alcoholic drinks, betting and gambling from running during the watershed period between 5:00am and 10pm.

The board said the new classification guidelines for advertising content was meant to “preserve national values and morals”, saying that commercials pose a strong influence on the public, and particularly children.

“These activities would result in not only violating the freedom of the press but also have a significant impact on the commercial aspects of media business,” the media owners said in a statement.

The association took issue with KFCB which, it said had no mandate to regulate TV content.

The board made headlines two weeks ago when it demanded that a Coca Cola advert that showed a couple kissing be toned down “as it violates family values.”

International think-tanks have painted a bleak picture of the media environment in Kenya.


The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) early this year said Kenya was among the worst countries violating media freedom in the region.

CPJ said a combination of legal and physical harassment was making it increasingly difficult for journalists to work freely.

The Jubilee administration has enacted legislation that curtails the freedom of the media.

Two laws have been passed that allow the government to fine journalists up to Sh500,000 and media houses up to Sh20 million should they breach a code of ethics determined by the government. Both laws have been challenged in court.a