Daniel Musyoka Mutinda – Lawyer who opposed anti-Moi campaigners

When Daniel Musyoka Mutinda was appointed to head the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, it was a relatively small docket presiding over only the Kenya News Agency and the Voice of Kenya (VoK). He concentrated his efforts on improving broadcast services to reach more Kenyans through the installation of more short-wave and VHF radio transmitters in Langata, Kisumu, Meru, Nyeri, Nakuru, Limuru and Timboroa.

The Minister said in 1977 there were only 1.5 million radio sets in Kenya with about 5 million listeners, and just 50,000 television sets and about 350,000 viewers in urban areas. The installation of radio transmitters enabled more Kenyans to access VoK services. At that time, private television and FM radio stations did not exist.

Mutinda is also credited with developing and promoting local radio and television programme material, and sourcing suitable programming from the West, especially from the United States and Europe. On numerous occasions he called for cooperation between African television organisations for drama, music and other cultural programmes. This quest led to the establishment of the Union of National Radio and Television Organisations of Africa (URTNA) which, at the invitation of Kenya, set up a Television Programme Exchange Centre at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi. Through it, African television organisations exchanged programmes that enriched overall content.

Mutinda also boosted the film industry through the Kenya Institute of Mass Communications and the ministry’s Film Department. But this effort did not go very far, because the UNESCO-funded exchange programme ended after funding dried up due to a general lack of interest from many participating countries.

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