According to this article from AllAfrica.com, President Kibaki has relented on his inclination to immediately implement the Kenya Communication (Amendment) Act 2008, and has directed the Information Minister to delay its gazetting.
The Attorney General Amos Wako and the Minister Samuel Poghisio, with input from the Media Owner’s Association, will review the Kenya Communiation Act 1998 and the Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act 2008, to address possibly additional amendments.
There’s no ETA mentioned for how long this process will take but with the pressure to review Sections 88 – 92 of the 1998 Act piled sky high right now, the turn-around time may be fast.
What should be amended?
- The authority granted in Section 88 (2) of the 1998 Act to the incumbent Internal Security Minister to unilaterally declare a public emergency by signing “a certificate” should be rescinded. That authority should be vested either in the President by executive order (the buck stops here) or by majority vote in the National Assembly.
- For the Internal Security Minister to perform any punitive action against a rogue broadcasting or telecommunications establishment “in the interest of public safety and tranquility”, it should be sanctioned by a Court of Law. While the Minister may have the mandate to determine when this interest occurs because of sensitive intelligence he may be privy to by virtue of his portfolio, an injunction should be sought for cease-and-desist orders etc., just as warrants are needed for search and entry of premises.
- Section 46H of the Amendment Act conferring on the Communications Commission of Kenya power to prescribe programming code should also be reviewed. The Commission perhaps should have authority to review malfeasance or malpractice in aired content rather than (rigidly) determine programming code.
What do you think? Specifically what Sections do you think should be reviewed and what should be instituted instead?