News / Africa

Kenya Lawyers Urge President Kenyatta to Veto Media Law

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation on the Westgate shopping mall attack in the capital Nairobi, Sept. 22, 2013.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation on the Westgate shopping mall attack in the capital Nairobi, Sept. 22, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to veto a new measure passed by parliament that would impose stiff penalties on the media.

Journalists across the country have condemned the proposed law as dictatorial and a blow to the country’s burgeoning media freedom.

Apollo Mboya says the media bill undermines the country’s constitution which guarantees freedom of speech. He said his group, Kenyans and the media are expressing concern about the new measure.

“Such a law is very draconian and can be abused, [and used] to prevent the media from informing the public, especially coming after the uproar with regards to the exposé that the media gave to the Westgate [mall] terrorist attack,” said Mboya.

Mboya’s comments came after Kenya’s parliament late Thursday night passed an amendment to Kenya’s Communication Act to establish a government body to receive complaints as well as penalize the media for offenses.

The punishment include up to shillings 20 million [$240,000] for violating a code of journalistic conduct. The proposed law would also establish a new organization that would regulate content for both print and electronic media.

Mboya said the legislation appears to be retaliation for recent media reports that depicted alleged security lapses, and the looting by security during the recent terrorist attack.

“We request the president to return that [proposed measure] to parliament and not sign it into law, then lobby for amendment to among other things remove the huge penalties and also the composition of this body that is going to regulate the media, so that it includes all relevant stakeholders,” said Mboya.

Some journalists say the proposed law will gag not only the media but private citizens. They also said it will allow senior government officials to use it to suppress dissent. Mboya agreed.

“That fear is very credible,” said Mboya. “A government with [these] kinds of powers proposed in the new law can use it in a very draconian manner.”

Mboya also said that the LSK will legally challenge the new measure in the Constitutional Court if President Kenyatta signs the new measure into law. He says the proposed law undermines the constitution.

“The elements of the amendments even casually looking at them [are] contrary to the bill of rights and to major provisions of [Kenya’s] progressive constitution,” said Mboya.”  As a law society, it is more likely that we will be heading to the Constitutional Court to litigate and pray that the court declares the amendments as unconstitutional.”
Clottey interview with Apollo Mboya, CEO Law Society of Kenya
Clottey interview with Apollo Mboya, CEO Law Society of Kenyai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid