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Kenyan consumer organisation tries to stop analogue TV switch-off

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has gone to court seeking to stop the Ministry of Information and Communications from switching off analogue television broadcasting in Nairobi by December 31.

The lobby group wants the court to compel the ministry and the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) to move the switch-off date to the 2015 the global deadline.

The federation argues that the early switch-off lacks “a moral, economic and legal basis and enough proof that Nairobi is ready for digital migration”.

Cofek adds that should the switch off continue, it would lock out millions of Kenyans from accessing civic education, especially as the country’s March 2013 general election approaches.

“The respondents have failed to address the need to offer subsidy on the set-top boxes to ease the consumer burden,” Cofek said.

The petition, which lists the Information and Communications minister, the Attorney General and the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) as the respondents, also says the notice gives consumers “too little time” to shop for set-top boxes as they prepare for Christmas and seek to return their children to schools.

Cofek has also been running campaigns on social media, trying to collect one million signatures petitioning the government to postpone the switch-off deadline.

Consumers Fedn Kenya ‏@ConsumersKenya (TWITTER)

TV SWITCH-OFF: It is day 2 (of 5 days) and we are still collecting signatures outside Kencom House as VIPs expected today.

The campaign has attracted, among others, aspirants for various elective posts in the next general election, with current Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu expected to sign COFEKs petition.

Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) (FACEBOOK)

about an hour ago

TV SWITCH-OFF: Nairobi Governor aspirant Mr Ferdinand Waititu to sign Cofek petition outside Kencom House at 2pm

Kenyans have mixed reactions to the petition by COFEK:

Fredrick Odhiambo U are taking us backwards, cohorting with the guy who didn’t want the new traffic laws implemented. Kenyans will move on.

luchirio ‏@luchirio

[email protected] ive signed something at Kencom. please enlighten me on the repercursions of my presumably noble gesture. *Lifts chin*

Susan Ngatia This petition is misguided, you should petition for cheaper set top boxes not fighting a move that is to the benefit of Kenyans, we need an array of information not just a few stations that often have little to offer but soap operas…

Joy kiruki ‏@Joykiruki

@[email protected] It happens that the pay TV decoders are cheaper than the free to air decoders and not everyone can afford them

 Herbert Masua Waititu has DSTV and still wants has to remain in old age give us a break kenyans are not as broke such that they cant afford a set top box.

  The ministry has been adamant that it would not extend the switch-off deadline, saying all the necessary infrastructure was in place and further delays in migration would lead to losses on the part of investors.

 The petition, certified as urgent by the High Court, has been slated for hearing on Monday December 17.

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