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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heavy Loss For Government As 2 Media Bills Are Shelved


It was announced late today that President Kibaki has officially declined to sign the media bill and has already written to the speaker of the house giving his reasons for refusing to sign it. He basically repeats what many MPs who voted for the bill already knew and what we have been saying here for weeks—that it contradicts key parts of the constitution.

At the same time Communication Minister Muahi Kagwe told newsmen today that the government has withdrawn the even-more-damaging-to-press-freedom CCK Amendment Act Bill. The minister says that the bill will be re-drafted.

It is unlikely that either bill will make it back to parliament before the elecetions.

That is 3 losses for the government of national unity in a space of about a week. I have included the ill fated bill meant to create new constituencies but sugar-coated with 50 extra seats for women. Going into an election this is very serious. In fact a crisis of sorts.

Just consider the man-hours and resources expended pushing and sponsoring 3 bills that were clearly not a good idea considering the corner the government has worked itself into.

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Proud Kikuyu Woman said...

Depends how you look at it, but I see victory here. But then again, you are Kumekucha, and most likely you would have cried foul if any bill was passed. Pole you were denied a chance to coin a campaign slogan right there-whatever happened to Ukweli Sasa!?

emurithi said...

How does Kibaki's rejection of the media bill become a Heavy loss to the Government? Is thinking a button that some Kenyans switch on & off?

Phil said...

Chris, I remember you supporting former NMG Crime Reporter - Steven Muiruri in supporting this media bill in this very Kumekucha forum, why the about turn? These bills are in eefect a direct affront to freedom of expression in this country. How short can people's memories be so short?

My general view is that government is sponsoring bills to parliament for political expediency. It makes me wonder if these bills, with far reaching consequences, could have escaped the president's attention when they were in their infancy. They had to first be discussed at cabinet level before being tabled in parliament.

Kibaki is now disowning his own cabinet ministers yet he was part and parcel of these bills when they were being conceived and approved by cabinet. How embarassing considering this people are campaigning for him countrywide since he cannot doo it himself. It reminds me of how the infamous MOU and single-term promises were trashed without second thought. The bills fiasco must be making AG Wako and ministers Karua and Kagwe want to hide in toilets!!

That aside, Kenyans must realise that by having a parliamentary system of government (that ODM will certainly introduce), government responsibility and accountability is brought right onto the floor of parliament through the Prime Minister. In this case, the mwananchi benefits both ways because political parties become more relevant in parliament just as the official opposition cannot afford to sit on its laurels, as is the case now.

kalamari said...

What Kibaki has done is a good thing for journalism….though a little late to score major votes. It could have been a fantastic victory had the NSIS chaps (who provide Chris with heavy doses of sleepless nights) read my past posts and advised him to shoot down the bill in a spectacular public fashion.
Listening to me would have averted negative perceptions created by gagged journalists rioting on the streets, Raila’s law suit and numerous articles in the local and international press. The government has been highlighted in bad light and believe me ODM will capitalize on this issue even though Kibaki has ‘solved’ it.
I love this game!!!

Phil- There's no such thing as consistency in politics so forgive Chris for flip-flopping. Even I at one time supported this know why.

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