'Prove your worth', Atwoli tells Uhuru
15 October 2015, 21:45
Nairobi - Central Organization of Trade Unions COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to not ascend to controversial laws deemed set to lock out the media from reporting freely in Parliament.
MPs passed the controversial Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill which will see those found guilty of allegedly spreading false information about MPs and Parliamentary proceedings slapped with a fine of KES 500,000 or a two year jails term or both.
The move effectively stops journalists from going through with their jobs as the stringent nature of the law stops them from freely going about with their business.
Atwoli has asked President Kenyatta to do the right thing and ensure that the law is not passed.
" The decision by Members of Parliament is retrogressive and
depicts a House hell-bent on taking Kenyans back to the old days when
such draconian laws were exploited by the State to intimidate and harass
the media in order to cover up for the ills in government," Atwoli
said Thursday in a statement.
" COTU urges the President not to taint his
hands by assenting to a law that stands to remind Kenyans of the painful
past and should instead refer the Bill back to Parliament for
amendments," he added.
The bill has already been ridiculed by media owners who see it as a ploy to silence media houses and allow MPs go about with negative processes without check.
If the President does heed Atwoli's call and return the bill to the house, MPs will be forced to cut back on some of the controversial bits, while if he does not and goes on to sign it, will signal the beginning of the end for unbiased reporting in Parliament.
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