Sunday, 21 April 2013

Live coverage of Shackles of Doom play blocked

By Standard Digital Reporter MOMBASA, KENYA: The state has placed new obstacles in the path of the controversial S hackles of Doom play by introducing measures to ensure it is not transmitted live on TV from Mombasa.
Several media houses which had prepared to show it live from the Aga Khan high school in Mombasa were told they could not even after preparing outside broadcasting facilities for days.
The play is being staged against the government or national drama organisers’ interests as state agents deem it to be ethnically inciting. Critics say the play which has been forced into the festivals through a court order is a legitimate display of Kenya’s structural weaknesses and system of inequalities adding that the latest obstacle by the state is designed to restrict the play’s appeal to a tiny audience.
This morning Education ministry officials and the Education PS on Sunday vetoed attempts by the media houses to cover S hackles of Doom live from Aga Khan High School Mombasa 4pm.
Earlier the national Executive Committee had considered requests from TV stations to have live coverage of the play and granted them permission to do so.
No sooner had TV crews moved to action setting up Outside Broadcasting equipment a communication to halt plans came through the top officials.
“The PS has said it would be unfair to isolate one play for live coverage while the rest did not enjoy the same,” an official in the ministry said.
Given the great national interest on the play editorial opinion was to have the rest of the nation who did not make it to Mombasa to see it firsthand.
Now they will have make do recorded snippets during prime news.
Keen observers has seen the latest move as way of frustrating further a play that has set precedent as the first to go to court for arbitration based on censorship.
Today the venue is full of theatre-goers and security has been beefed up at the venue with all going through detailed checks and frisking at the entry points.
Special doors at the auditorium have been marked ‘VIP ONLY’ as a long queue of those buying tickets for the evening session continue to stretch.
Some people have travelled as far as from Kakamega, Nairobi, Lamu and Nyeri to come and watch the play.

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