Parliament passes Media bill without amendments

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The National Assembly has adopted amendments to the Kenya Information and Communications Amendment (KICA) Bill proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as Cord MPs walk out en masse.

Media Practitioners will now have to adhere to the contents of the Kenya Information Communications Amendment Bill   (KICA), after parliament failed to raise the requisite threshold of three thirds majority to make amendments to the Presidential memorandum.

The heated debate on the Bill, which was characterized by a walk out by the CORD members of parliament saw a section of the opposition seeking for the postponement of the debate until after recess on realizing that they did not have the numbers  to overturn the rejected KICA Bill.

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However, speaker of the National assembly Justin Muturi said his hands were tied by the constitution and that the debate on the Presidents Memorandum should go on as scheduled.

Media practitioners had sealed a deal with the House Committee on Energy, Communication and Information to amend the provision on the hefty fines spelled on journalists upon contravention of the Act and the regulation of the media. The deal however depended on the three thirds threshold.

Ndhiwa legislator Augostino Neto had earlier argued that the President overstepped his mandate by proposing amendments to the bill rather than state his reservations.

Deputy Minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo claimed that the president interfered with separation of powers. But Speaker  Muturi said the president acted within his power to propose the changes.

Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba challenged Energy, Communication and Information committee chair Jamleck Kamau declare status of the deal struck between the committee and media stakeholders.-kbc.co.ke

President Uhuru Kenyatta. FILE

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