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National anthem inches closer to earning copyright

By Brian Otieno | July 23rd 2021

Kisoi Munyao hoisting the Kenyan flag on the peak of Mt Kenya on the eve of Kenya independence, 1963. File, Standard]

The national anthem is one step closer to earning copyright. The Senate voted to have the National Flag, Emblems and Names Bill proceed to the second reading stage, yesterday, July 23, 2021.

The Bill was among four others passed through a vote that had been previously deferred. The others were the Community Health Services Bill, the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill, the Investment Promotion Bill and the Coffee Bill.

The Agnes Zani-sponsored National Flag, Emblems and Names Bill also proposes to copyright other national symbols, reserving the copyright rights to the government. The move aims to prevent any person or entity from laying claim to the national anthem.

“The principal object of this Bill is to amend the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act, Cap. 99 Laws of Kenya to ensure that the National Anthem is safeguarded,” the Bill reads in part.

The Senate. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Senators voted unanimously – 32 senators in favour – to sail the Bills through to the next stage. The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges proposal, also sponsored by the nominated senator, seeks to compel public officers to issue reports on parliamentary resolutions, prescribing action against an officer who fails to do so.

“The Clerk of the relevant House shall, within seven days of a resolution of the House or of the tabling of a report of a Committee of the House, convey the resolution or a copy of the report, as the case may be, to the responsible officer under whose portfolio the implementation of the resolution or recommendation of the Committee falls,” reads the Bill.

The Community Health Services Bill sponsored by Nominated Senator Sylvia Kasanga proposes reforms in the health sector, chief among them to “promote access to primary healthcare services at the community level and reduce health disparities between counties”.

The Coffee Bill, promoted by the Agriculture Committee, seeks to regulate and promote the coffee sector. One of its proposals is to establish a coffee board whose functions will conduct the said regulation.

The Investment Promotion Bill seeks to amend the Investment Promotion Act to “ensure the participation of County Governments in the promotion of trade”. 

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