Posted: December 5, 2013 in Politics/Current issues

In what appears to be a very big blow to the Kenyan media, parliament has today adopted amendments to the Kenya Information and Communications Amendment (KICA) Bill proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Their  debate saw  Cord MPs who were opposed to the amendments walk out en masses.

Here is a press statement issued by the Editors Guild chairman Macharia Gaitho

Kenya Editors Guild PRESS STATEMENT
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media –

We the Journalists of this country hereby take great exception to the anti-media laws passed this afternoon by the National Assembly.
Despite concerted efforts, all effortsat dialogue have failed and Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill of 2013 has been passed incorporating the contentious proposals put forward by President Uhuru Kenyatta. It is a dark moment for Kenya’s robust media environment when laws that will reverse gains made on freedom of expression and independence of media from State interference have been rubber-stamped by the National Assembly. Our position as Kenyan journalists remains the same: The laws are a grave affront on the freedom of media well calculated to target journalists and media enterprises with the ultimate aim of gagging them through hefty fines and penalties. There are potential dangers we see as contravening Article 34 of the Constitution and aimed at insulating the media from State interference and control. We are taken aback that attempts to strike a middle ground and navigate Kenya out of the contentious issues raised by media stakeholders have been ignored. We are looking at various options
going forward:

1. We will move to Court to challenge the decision of the National Assembly;
2. We ask journalists countrywide to be on standby for an announcement on the next instalment of protests;
3. We will continue to lobby MPs for amendments in the shortest time possible aimed at restoring and protecting freedom and
independence of the Media. Issued on December 5, 2013

Kenya Editors’ Guild
Chair: Macharia Gaitho
Vice Chair: David Ohito
Kenya Correspondents Association
Chair: Oloo Janak
Kenya Union of Journalists
Chair: Jared Obuya.




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