NAIROBI, Kenyan Ministry of Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary (Assistant Minister) Sammy Itemere has warned radio stations in the country against broadcasting news likely to create chaos in the run-up to the August general election.

Itemere has called upon the Communications Authority Kenya (CAK) of Kenya and the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) to enforce the regulatory tools and instruments at their disposal to ensure that the broadcast media in Kenya operates within the law.

“This must be done without fear or favour in order to safeguard peace, stability and moral fabric of our people and country,” he said here Monday, citing as an example the Rwanda genocide of 1994 when radio was used irresponsibly to create hatred which led to a massive loss of lives.

“Let us not lose sight of the fact that radio, if put to wrong use, can trigger ethnic and religious animosity, thus destabilizing nations,” said Itemere.

Speaking during celebrations to mark World Radio Day, he asked broadcasters to exercise the freedom conferred to them by the Constitution firmly, prudently and responsibly, especially as the country prepares for the 2017 General Election, which is scheduled to be held in August.

A communications officer of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) office here, Christine Maingi, urged radio stations to adhere to laws because radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster dialogue for change.

Meanwhile, an independent research has revealed that the number of radio stations countrywide increased tenfold over the last decade from 10 in 1999 to 107 in 2010, with a total 139 FM stations as at June 30, 2016.

This year’s celebration aims to raise greater awareness among the public on the importance of radio as a medium to improve international co-operation between broadcasters, and to encourage broadcasters to promote access to information, freedom of expression and cultural diversity over the airwaves.