Film Bill won’t gag media, says KFCB boss Mutua
The Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua has dismissed claims the proposed Films, Stage Plays and Publications Bill 2016 will gag the media. He said the bill focuses on reviewing Act Cap 222, a 1963 law, which was last amended in 2012 to conform to modern technology. Media practitioners and civil society have opposed the Bill, which controls media content. The Kenya Union of Journalists and Kisumu Journalists’ Network termed the bill regressive, saying it threatens media freedom. They demanded its withdrawal. KUJ secretary Eric Oduor said stakeholders were not consulted during drafting and it contains clauses that will undermine media freedom. Contentious issues include licensing of mobile phones used in taking photos, which KJN chairman Dickson Odhiambo said will infringe on journalists’ privacy and interfere with their work. But Mutua said the law does not address contemporary issues because it was made when ICT was not robust, hence the need to regulate media content.