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No more press freedom in Kenya

01 November 2013, 09:15

Nairobi - Kenyans will no longer enjoy democracy and freedom of speech after MPs passed the law that seeks to muzzle the media.

The approved Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill allows the government to appoint a tribunal that has powers to impose harsh penalties against journalists and media houses found to have breached their code of conduct, The Standard reports.

Media houses may pay a maximum of KES 20 million, while individual journalist may pay up to KES 1 million for the breach.

The tribunal also has the powers to auction property owned by the media houses and the journalists to recover the fines.

Kenya's media fraternity have been on the receiving end of attacks, they were removed from Parliament's media centre, and most recently were under attack for their coverage of the Westgate Mall siege last month, which was termed by the Inspector General Kinamiyo as 'unpatriotic' and risking national security.

“Limiting our press freedom will limit our national thinking. Vibrant and objective debate is necessary to spur growth,” @RailaOdinga, wrote on twitter.

“@joekadhi @jamessmat The President has a chance to save #pressfreedom in Kenya by not signing the bill,” @CleanPolitics_, commented on twitter.

“Increase MPigs pay n th bill will varnish...RT @dailynation Press freedom in peril after MPs approve new Bill,” @tonynjue wrote on twitter.

The Bill now awaits Presidential Assent for it to become law.

- For more visit The Standard


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