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Ruto: No plans to gag the media

09 December 2013, 10:39 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - It is not possible to gag the media with the new Constitution dispensation, Deputy President William Ruto said over the weekend.

Ruto defended the parliament over Thursday's decision that passed the President’s memorandum on the Media Bill, saying the move was fair.

He said the National Assembly acted within limits of the Constitution and that the recent wrangles will be addressed in other panels.

He reiterated that there are no plans to oppress the media, adding that the government is ready to protect the sector’s freedom.

Ruto acknowledged the media's role  in national development adding that there is a misconception about the Media Bill provisions.

“The Bill proposes a fine of KES 100,000 to errant journalists and not KES 500,000 as has been communicated by some politicians,” he said.

Prior to the President returning the Bill to parliament, Ruto said he had consulted the Commission for Implementation of Constitution (CIC) and that the memo was drafted with guidance from the commission.

He stated that there are constitutional checks and balances guiding the Media sector which prevent infringement on others’ rights and freedoms.

The Deputy President made the remarks at Mathira in Nyeri County after touring the region accompanied by several MPs including Priscilla Nyokabi (Nyeri Women Rep), Peter Weru (Mathira MP), Simon Mathenge (Kieni MP) and Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurweini MP) among others.

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