NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has said a stern action will be taken against rogue Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) officials who have been misappropriating royalties.
Speaking in Gathiruini village Murang’a County where he attended the burial ceremony of the late John De Mathew, Kenyatta said he will not condone those reaping where they never sowed.
“Yesterday I directed Director of Criminal Investigations and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate what has been going on at the copyright board and submit a report which will be made public. There are people who have been accused of embezzling money which does not belong to them and if indeed it is proved to be the case, they will definitely pay,” Kenyatta warned.
The Head of State further directed the transfer of the MCSK which is domiciled at the State Law Office to the ICT ministry.
“You know the offices of the Copyright Board are at the Attorney General’s office and the AG and his team do not deal with music, they are lawyers so that office will be moved to the ICT Ministry because through Communications Authority, the ICT will be able to monitor which music plays, on which TV or Radio station and ensure that the artists get their deserved dues,” Kenyatta said.
He was responding to musicians who urged him to push for the adoption of Copyright Amendment Bill 2017.
Wrangles between Kenyan artists and the MCSK are not new. The agency paid a couple of popular musicians a meager Sh2,530 as royalties earned from their music.
Artists led by renowned rapper Khaligraph Jones shocked Kenyans when they revealed through their social media accounts that the revered MCSK sent them a measly amount of Sh2,530 for their music via mobile money transfer service – MPESA.
They branded MCSK as corrupt and complained that the Sh2,530 amount was ridiculous and a mockery to their talents.