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MP urges journalists to defend press freedom in court

04 November 2013, 17:34 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - Hamisi MP, Charles Gimose, has challenged journalists to go to court and bar the president from assenting to the contentious media Bill that was passed by parliament last Thursday.

Gimose said that the bill, although passed by parliament, was on the verge of taking the country back to those dark days when media was gagged by the state apparatus.

“The bill is retrogressive, primitive and outright wrong. It should not be given any breathing space in any country in the world. I challenge the journalists to immediately go to court and bar the bill from being passed into law,” Gimose said.

By going to court, Gimose noted, the journalists will show other Kenyans that they are not as ignorant as thought by the MPs who passed the bill.

He further indicated that he was going to go through the bill again from a lawyer’s point of view and single out the amendments needed and if necessary table the bill again in parliament afresh.

Gimose said that it was unnecessary to gag the media at this time when the country has come of age and is on the edge of celebrating 50 years of independence.

“We cannot say that we are going forward with such bills being unanimously voted for by the people who are supposed to make and amend laws for the country. The MPs who passed the bill should know that it cannot happen,” he said.

Last week, the Jubilee-controlled House sanctioned the oppressive media laws which impart hefty fines on media houses and journalists and a total blow to democracy and speech.

The Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill has since been left at the mercy of the President who has so far asserted that he has no intentions to silence the media by signing the Bill into law.

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