Kibaki orders media law review

January 7, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday directed the Attorney General (AG) and Information Minister to look at the controversial media law afresh.

In a brief statement, the head of state ordered the two to study amendments members of the media fraternity have proposed to the controversial Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act, 2008.

“I have noted concerns by the media regarding the Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act 2008 and asked the AG and the Information and Communications Minister Samuel Poghisio to study the proposed amendments and consult with the media representatives,” the statement said.

The President was responding to a letter from the Chairman of the Media Owners Association (MOA) Linus Gitahi, appealing to him to consider proposed amendments to the Act.
The President further directed that the AG and Information Minister bring appropriate recommendations on the proposed changes to the Cabinet for consideration. 

The Media fraternity and civil society have been protesting against the new law which gives the government power to raid broadcast houses at will and control broadcast content.

The MOA and the Editors Guild had on Tuesday said they would snub calls by the government for dialogue on the contentious sections of the controversial law.

“We have held many meetings with the ministry and as we held those meetings, the Bill continued to move from one stage to the other and we have not seen any fruitful outcome,” Mr Gitahi stated.

He further stressed that they would not attend talks on the controversial law unless its implementation was suspended.

But Wednesday’s move by the President was seen as the first indication that the government was indeed willing to back down from the draconian law.


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