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Chiloba: Journalists seeking elective seats to resign by February 9

By Justus Karanja

Kenyan journalists intending to contest for elective seats in August 9 General Election must resign by February 9, Communications Authority Director General Ezra Chiloba (pictured) has said.

Chiloba also laid down new rules that all broadcasters must adhere to.

In a statement he directed all journalists involved in campaign activities to either be sent on leave for the entire election period or have their contracts terminated.

"If a person working on programmes for a station becomes a candidate or is employed or retained in any capacity by a political aspirant or a political party, he/she shall go on leave for the duration of the election period or his employment may be terminated by the station.

"Therefore, the authority requires broadcasting licensees to ensure that aspiring candidates associated with or employed by their stations take the required leave of office by April 9, 2022 as gazetted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)," read the statement in part.

The media houses were also asked to ensure their news reports are objective, provide fair coverage and filter out fake news.

They were also directed to desist from broadcasting any material with sufficient reason to doubt its accuracy and authenticity.

"Guard against transmission of fake news or misleading information during the electioneering period.

"Part IV (22) of the Broadcasting Regulations requires that you ensure that broadcasts from your station are based on fact and are not founded on opinion, rumour supposition or allegation and that you adhere strictly to your professional standards," added the statement.

There are more than 50 TV channels and 100 Radio stations across the country.

The directives come after some media houses such as Royal Media Services (RMS) already ordered their staff running for elective office to tender their resignations.

In a memo signed by Group Managing Director Wachira Waruru, RMS ordered staff members to hand in their resignation letters by March 1, 2022.

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