No Internet shutdown during polls, government assures

No Internet shutdown during polls, government assures

The Principal Secretary in the State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunication, Esther Koimett, has said the government will not shut down the Internet during the forthcoming general elections.

“Kenya will not shut the Internet; the Internet is critical to this economy, and Kenya is a country that respects freedom of speech,” she said.

The PS further added that the government believes the country has a regulatory space and environment to deal with any challenges from managing the elections.

She was responding to fears that Kenya may go the Uganda way, where there was total Internet shut down during last year’s general election that was said to be marred with irregularities.

On hate speech, she said the government is committed to ensuring a peaceful election. The Media Council of Kenya, a parastatal under her department, is working closely with journalists, training them on professional reporting.

“We request the media to behave professionally as the MCK, itself a regulatory body, will not hesitate to stop any unprofessional reporting,” added Koimett.

The PS made the remarks after officiating the Launch of Wingu community radio at the Hub and underscored the important roles of such communications platforms in enhancing growth in the community.

She called on the community to make good use of the facility to realize agricultural, business, and educational benefits.

She also hailed the project, which has been developed by local professionals as life-transforming and called on other professionals across the country to emulate them to make Kenya a better place.

She underscored the significant contribution of ICT and innovation in bridging the unemployment gap as many youths are now earning from online work.

“Today, we have heard that there is a youth who makes over Sh2 million in a month from online jobs. The government will continue to support innovation and ICT through Ajira and Internet connectivity programs to have such success stories,” she emphasized.

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