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Ruto rejects media gagging accusations

04 November 2013, 11:11

Nairobi - Deputy President, William Ruto, rejected arguments that the government aimed to suppress the media following the passing of the Information and Communication Bill.

The legislative instrument was passed last Thursday amid an outcry by media and human rights groups.

"It is our responsibility to protect the constitution in which the freedom of press and media are contained. The media should not be intimidated by anybody as it enjoys the freedom as stated in the constitution," said Ruto at a church service in Roysambu in the outskirts of Nairobi.

Ruto's remarks came a day after he jetted back to the country from The Hague, Switzerland where he is undergoing trial for alleged crimes against humanity.

The Central Organization for Trade Union (COTU) meanwhile supported the Deputy President's remarks adding that freedom of the media was vital as it revealed "hidden issues" to society and kept the government in check.

"It is only through the media that we can remain relevant as a society," said Francis Atwoli, COTU Secretary General.

The bill has come under heavy criticism with the former Vice President, Kalonzo Musyoka, saying it was soiling Kenya's reputation internationally.

Recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the Bill would be referred back to the House for amendment of the controversial clauses before he appended his signature.

The bill empowers government to punish media that are found liable for misconduct.

- CAJ News



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