The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has suspended controversial preacher, James Ng’ang’a’s SASA TV live programmes for six months, as punishment for what it termed as dirty utterances by the Neno Evangelism Centre preacher.
In a directive by CA Director General, Ezra Chiloba, to Neno Evangelism Centre- the broadcaster operating SASA TV- the authority said its investigations established that the television station aired inappropriate content during watershed period on October 3, violating the law.
“Investigations established that the TV station violated provisions of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998, Broadcasting Regulations, 2009, the Programming Code, and Broadcasting License Conditions,” Mr Chiloba said in a press statement.
He further ordered the station to take its staff for mandatory training and accreditation at the Media Council of Kenya (MCK), on appropriate operations of the Profanity Delay Mechanism system, management of live broadcasts, broadcasting legal framework, consumer protection, and complaints handling.
“SASA TV has further been directed to ensure it has adequate and qualified personnel who are duly accredited by the Media Council of Kenya. The station has also been ordered to develop and implement adequate internal controls to ensure compliance with broadcast content standards,” the authority stated.
CA started investigations on SASA TV following complaints from the public and a call from MCK, after the controversial preacher uttered inappropriate words during a live programme, in relation to how his body should be treated when he dies.
MCK issued a public statement in October, directing the station to show cause why action should not be taken against it, for the violations during its live programme.
“The Council notes that the media house in question breached clauses 5 (b) (c) on accountability and 10 (1) on obscenity, taste, and tone in reporting by allowing a presenter, apostle James Ng’ang’a in a live broadcast from ‘Jerusalem City Kenya’ at 1024 hours where he uttered offensive and unprintable words on-air,” MCK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Omwoyo, said then.
It is not the first time Mr Ng’ang’a and his station are in the spotlight for uttering offensive words in live programmes, but this is the first time the government has swung to action in protest over the manner the station, always airing live and recorded religious content filled with programmes on healing ‘miracles’, has been running things.
CA yesterday said if the station fails to adhere to the directives, which took effect immediately, its license could be revoked.
“The Authority urges all licensed broadcasters to ensure full compliance to broadcasting standards set out in the various provisions of the law,” it stated.