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All set for Wednesday vote as MP's 'agree' to media ammendments

04 December 2013, 09:08 Eugene Odanga

Nairobi - Members of Parliament have 'agreed' in principle to amend certain sections of the proposed media laws and avert a possible fallout with the fourth estate.

The Media Council of Kenya MCK announced Tuesday that they had come to an agreement over contentious issues in the Kenya Information and Communication Amendment KICA Bill.

According to David Ohito of the Editor's guild, focus is now on lobbying for support in the house to ensure a two thirds majority is gannered as required by law, to enforce the changes.

The vote by the MP's on the laws will be held Wednesday after it was moved from Tuesday to enable further consultation on changes to be made.

Ohito said that the 'agreed' on amendments will not just serve to protect the rights of the media but ensure that journalists do not go overboard while in the line of duty.

According to the proposed changes, The KICA Bill will deal with infrastructural matters such as licensing, signal distribution, courier services, postal services, and telecommunications.

As for the conduct of journalists and media houses, such matters will be dealt with by the independent Complaints Commission of the Media Council of Kenya and not the proposed Communication and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal which media houses had objected to.

News of the agreement followed silent protests by journalists in Nairobi, with similar marches being held in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and other parts of the country.

According to Grace Munjiri of the Media Council, the expectation is that the bills will be amended before parliament goes on recess for the Christmas break.

- News24

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