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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,6TH MARCH 2018-ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has finally appeared before senate ICT committee over shutdown of three TV stations in late January.The CS however turned down most of the questions from the senators refusing to explain the move which saw four private TV stations shut.Citizen TV,KTN NEWS,NTV and Inooro Television channels were shut during Raila Odinga’s mock swearing-in in ceremony at Uhuru park grounds
The CS told Senate Committee that he did not have answers because the blackout was “a national security issue.”
Instead, he asked MPs to seek answers from the National Security Council, chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“I will not answer the who and why of the shutdown because I am not the one who did it. I am also not authorised to discuss security matters in the glare of cameras,” Mr Mucheru said, noting that there is a pending court case that complicates the issues the MPs wanted him to tell the country.He also denied responsibility for the 10-day shutdown that almost grounded the media houses affected.
In its wisdom, the government considered Mr Odinga’s event a “national security” threat, and even went ahead to advise media houses against covering it.
But in the discharge of their constitutional mandate, the TV stations covered the ‘swearing-in’ at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, before they were switched off air one by one.
“When the NSC invokes their actions, it is not me to respond to, it is about security of the country and the reasons they have,” Mr Mucheru said as Mr Moi and the committee members resigned to fate.
Mr Mucheru had twice snubbed the committee’s invitations, citing a Cabinet meeting and foreign travel.