Blow to Kenyan creative industry as high court uphold ban on 'Rafiki' movie

''I, therefore, declare this case null and void. '' This was the situation on Wednesday 29th April 2020 when Honarable Justice J. A Makau of the High Court dismissed a petition by Wanuri Kahiu challenging the decision to ban the gay-themed movie '' Rafiki'' by KFCB back in April 2018.

The film was banned on the grounds that it promoted homosexuality in the country where gay sex is a criminal offense.

Wanuri Kahiu, the film producer, appealed against the ban, arguing it was against the freedom of expression and freedom of speech in Kenya. She also added that '' We believe in our constitution and are glad to defend it. We will appeal!. '' This gives the film fans a ray of hope.

The court ruled out the case on the grounds that the petitioner had failed to prove how the existence of the sections of the law violated the rights of expression. The Judge further stated that the jurisdiction of the court was prematurely invoked, and the discretion of the KFCB to restrict 'Rafiki' is constitutional.

This ruling was received by the KFCB CEO, Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, with a sigh of relief stating on his twitter page that '' KFCB wins case on Gay film petition 313/2018. Wanuri Kahiu vs. KFCB has now been delivered. '' He also went ahead and wrote '' this case was not about human rights. It was about gay content, and if filmmakers can glorify homosexuality in their work. ''

We must always respect and uphold the constitution of Kenya 2010. Unfortunately, today it has lost an opportunity to protect creatives from government censorship and turn the tide by creating a free space to allow the exchange of ideas.