CCK has awarded Kenyan digital broadcasting signal distribution license to  Pan African Network Group (PANG), a company with some Chinese shareholding. Major shareholder of PANG are Star Times of China. Nation Media Group and Royal Media formed part of a local  consortium to bid for the signal distribution tender.

NMG and Royal Media went immediately for the throat of CCK accusing it for many things including awarding tender to Chinese dictators, disqualifying locals on “minor technicalities” among other things. It was all propaganda war last witnessed during the campaign against the Kenya Media Bill in 2008. Many journalists and media personalities were forced to participate in the protest without reading the fine draft well yet the draft fought for the betterment of the life of the same journalists while only regulating the filth which has been spewing from the local media which benefits no one but the owners of the media.

Nobody in Kenya has control of media as much as Agha Khan through NMG and businessman Macharia through Royal Media Services. Any small move by anyone including other media houses to snatch control of the same has been resisted by all means including bribing politicians, government officials and strong propaganda wars. The same weapons are being used against CCK and Ministry of Information.

Five other competitors in the signal distributions were National Signals Network, Africa Link Agencies, Mayfox Limited, Signal Distributors Ltd and Globecast Africa.

The signal distribution license is awarded on conditions like;

  • That it will be on an open access platform
  • The distributor must have national coverage
  • The investor must show proof of resources or funding needed for putting up the national infrastructure

These conditions were the ones to be met. Nowhere in the conditions did you see that CHinese must not participate. The cries from Nation and Royal Media are not specific and are very selfish indeed. The National Signals Network fronted by Nation and Royal Media failed even to raise the 120 bid bond. Now how can the CCK favour even participants who cant meet tender conditions. The consortium had an upper hand on all these but they failed even the basics like submissions. Again the claims the Chinese government will dictate Kenyan media are just hogwash.

In the whole signal distribution business, it is about the distributor providing a vehicle for content distribution and not determining the content. Control and Regulations still remains with CCK. It is stupid that every time NMG and Royal Media loose a deal in the country then they will resort to propaganda to get their way. Thinking of rallying MPs behind them while ignoring the dispute resolution procedures just shows you how much impunity is entrenched in Nation Media and Royal Media Groups.

The same Nation Media and Royal Media consortium wants us to advertise the tender internationally while they don’t want to mention that they would rather some races, cultures, tribes and nationalities don’t participate. They claim many things against “the Chinese” while they have not launched a campaign to stop them from building Kenya’s roads, rails, telecommunications and housing infrastructure. In fact in all of the areas, they have praised them. On Daily nation of 20th July 2011, the first page photo of Likoni Ferry was taken from Chinese’s Xhinua News agency. Why copy paste photos of Kenyan situation from Chinese government controlled news agency and claim the tyranny of China?

The Same media houses also have continually praised CNN for giving awards to their journalists while they have failed to reward the same journalists. Just today Citizen has been showing COKE reward journalists who won CNN awards. All the media houses have run full page adverts showing how superior they are on the basis of CNN award while there is nothing they have done locally to recognise the journalists who have worked against all odds to deliver great content. You can’t claim “colonialism” while embrace another colonialist.

If Nation Media Group and Royal Media Services wants us to believe that they have faith in the rule of law, why cant they just go to court and lay their case down? I don’t know who the PANG are but I believe in the due process.

I have talked even to journalists who did the story against PANG for the two media houses and what they tell me is that they are being pushed by their employers and they even see it not right that the employers are fighting on non issues while they were beaten in a fair game. Speaking to sources at CCK and Ministry of Information, I get it that there is no turning back on the tender.

NMG and Royal are fighting on this license while there were two licenses to be awarded and one has not been awarded because none of the other competitors fully met the tender conditions. Let NMG and Royal fight for the third license and not engage in trivality when they can’t even compete. This is IMPUNITY.

  • Jobkimani

    this is an educative blog, i have a few questions i would like you to clarify though:
    did the chinese company fulfil the conditions a foreign company must so as to qualify, especially the 20% local shareholding?
    does the chinese have local coverage or infrastructure?if not how did they acquire the trender?

  • Wanyahora

    naive posting….if only u had a clue

  • Mkenya_4t

    aiiii hapana!… this article has it all wrong..is rather one sided..just wondering  does the author know something we dont?..anyway it still doesn’t add up. both NMG and RMS had the right to cry faul esp. after investing millions worth of infrastructure all around the country. all it would have taken to deploy digital signal would be to upgrade equipment.. thereby reducing roll-out time. the Chinese on the other hand have to start from zero! 

  • Seth Muriithi

    What’s the hustle for anyway? IPTV is here, Kenyan developers are delving into mobile video podcasting, operators have finally woken up to contracts allowing Kenyans to own tabs and smart phones which will soon be the major multimedia consumption units … let them fight over broadcasting rights, and burn even more millions on 2nd world war infrastructure; the future belongs to the interwebs and innovative SMEs.

  • Even the Bible says that ” a prophet is not respected in his hometown”.That’s why our Kenyan journalists have to savor the recognition received abroad