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Uhuru blocks Jubilee MPs from appearing on TV

Tough times ahead.

The lawmaker have in addition been stopped from responding to media queries, without prior approval from the presidency, in what seems a change, as County Commissioners will now be the ones to speak on behalf of the president in vernacular radio stations.

"As you might have noticed, we are not talking to the media as per the instructions given to us by his Excellency the President and Deputy President," an MP, who sought anonymity for fear of reprisals, said on Tuesday as quoted by the Star.

"He [Uhuru] was categorical that the caveat must be respected at all cost. We are in dilemma even when we feel we have strong and persuasive views we want to articulate. We are missing a lot on constructive public discourse," the lawmaker added.

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Technically, it means that lawmakers who have been flooding TV and radio morning shows to comment on the current affairs will have to expressly do so after writing to the National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale and Senate’s counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen, before making appearance on TV.

Last week when President Uhuru Kenyatta met the lawmakers at State House in Nairobi in a group meeting, he insisted that all lawmakers allied to his party must tore the line of the party, or leave, a warning which was preceded by the arrest of Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, who is said to have missed the crucial meeting. Uhuru had warned of dire consequences to the lawmakers who missed the meeting last week.

Media Shutdown

On January 30, the government shut down the transmission of four private mainstream TV and one radio station, in a crackdown on broadcasters who had defied its directive not to cover the swearing in of Raila Odinga.

The first to be shut down was Citizen TV, Inooro TV by NTV and KTN News and Citizen Radio, and all online streams of the channels.

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The Communications Authority of Kenya switched off Citizen Television and Radio in most parts of the country over the coverage of the NASA ‘swearing-in’ plan. The switch off was done at the Limuru transmission centre.

Earlier, there were reports that the President had threatened to revoke licences of media houses that go against the directive, igniting heated debate among media practitioners.

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