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CIC warns law violates Constitution

By RAWLINGS OTIENO | Nov 1st 2013 | 2 min read


The Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC) has said the Kenya Information and Communication Bill 2013, which Members of National Assembly passed yesterday is inconsistent with the Constitution.

Commissioner Kamotho Waiganjo further said the Media Council Bill 2013 being debated should be consistent with the Constitution.

“The bill must reflect the tenets of Constitution. If Parliament passes a legislation that curtails the freedom of the press, we will certainly challenge that in court,” said Waiganjo.

The Kenya Information and Communication Bill 2013 will see the establishment of a Broadcasting Standards Committee responsible for developing standards for broadcasting content and regulating and monitoring compliance to those standards.

He, however, admitted that the Media Council Bill was scrutinised by the CIC and Editor’s Guild and an amicable compromise on the proposed legislation was reached.

National Civil Society Congress President Morris Odhiambo warned that should lawmakers introduce measures that will back-pedal the progress made on the media’s self regulation, the matter will be taken to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).

Odhiambo said majority of the MPs do not understand the history of the nation and warned that curtailing press freedom is an attack againstthe Constitution, which guarantees fundamental freedoms and rights.

“This is an attack against the Constitution and against human rights. The civil society, the media and the courts must all stand up together to defend press freedom and allow the media’s self-regulation. This is what happens in democratic nations,” said Odhiambo. “We can read mischief that MPs do not want the media to hold them to accountable.”

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