Tuesday, January 6, 2009




January 6 2009

ODM to bring the amendments on the floor of the House if the Cabinet does not take the initiative. The Orange Democratic Movement has promised to fight the implementation of the Kenya Communications Act in its current form

Noting that it was a bad law, Cabinet minister and party member Mr Otieno Kajwang said the fight against the Bill will be political and ODM will fight it to the end.

“For somebody to think this thing can be confined to the cabinet is to be short-sighted. This is a matter we will fight as a political party. It will be a long fight but it will be fought and won,” the minister for Immigration and Registration of Persons said.

He was addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildings a day after the party’s top leaders claimed they were not involved in the crafting of the Bill as they were not in Government then.

The minister claimed that a majority of ODM MPs were not present in the House when the Bill was passed. He claimed party MPs had earlier been assured that the Bill would be shelved to allow for further consultations with stake holders.

“Our party leader had informed some of us that the matter would not be on the order paper of the day as he had spoken to the Information minister who had agreed to withdraw the Bill for further consultations.”

As a result most ODM MPs did not come to the House on the material day, he claimed.

The minister said ODM will bring the amendments on the floor of the House if the Cabinet will not take the initiative.

“If they cannot be brought by the Cabinet, then they will be brought by ODM, if not as a party then by a private member’s motion as soon as the House resumes its business.”

He added: “This is squarely a matter of political parties because they form the Government and they have a set of beliefs, values and programmes that they would want to pass across and fight for.”

According to Mr Kajwang, there are fundamental differences between ODM and PNU- the two pillar parties of the Grand coalition Government on several provisions of the Media Act.

“Whereas PNU believes some of the provisions will put checks on certain excesses of the media, ODM believes it will reverse democratic gains and roll back the democratic space we have fought for and gained over the years,” he said.

He said ODM was concerned over the issues of who should regulate the media, who decides the broadcast and print content and incase of damage and who will bring out redress.

Confining these powers on the ministers for Information and Internal Security, would according to the minister, open room for abuse.

“We cannot give these powers to a single individual in Government who may use if arbitrarily without consultations.”

“The Act gives the two ministers immense powers and in ODM’s view, these are people who have certain interests both personal and power related. If we allow them to exercise these powers there is a possibility that these powers can be misused,” he said.


Submitted by wsnjau
Posted January 06, 2009 06:48 PM

Unfortunately, not many people are discussing the bill's content. Liberal thikers would like everything media chooses to be shown on TV whatever time. In England, the 'watershed' stops ponographic material before 9PM. Is that bad for Kenya? So why is the media inciting Kenyans by saying 'the gvt want to regulate what you watch and when'? Can't they see that is meant for children?

Submitted by burbbs
Posted January 06, 2009 06:45 PM

WHAT!!! Did they shamelessly tell us they did not attend house sessions becoz their leader told them the issue was not on the order paper? WOW, they definitely take us for fools. As much as I don't support parts of the media bill, I do realise that those in position to have stopped it from passing were asleep on the job and the prez signed what was passed in parliament. Attend sessions in parliament like u did when the MP tax issue came up and maybe we'll believe u a little more!

Submitted by Sam*D33
Posted January 06, 2009 06:07 PM

Holy ODM members. This is my story; you believe mine I believe yours.*Your son is suspended from school for being absent during a roll call. His defence "Dad, I always attend classes, it is only that the teacher did not inform me he would be conducting a roll call that day"

Submitted by leonardo8899
Posted January 06, 2009 05:59 PM

Amazing!! Did I read that correctly or what?? That they did not go to the house on the material day because they had been told that there would be consultations?? So, when do they go to the house on their own free will?? When discussing their hefty allowances/salaries or when? The ping-pong that ODM is playing is the very reason the politicians cannot be trusted to regulate the media!!Shame on them!!

Submitted by steveg
Posted January 06, 2009 05:46 PM

Eh! the bigger issue is where were these MPs when the bill was passed???? If they have/had issues with it why did they not fight in in parliament. The PRESS should be asking them this question rather....

Submitted by primerasystems
Posted January 06, 2009 05:37 PM

Does the Hon Kajwang want to go one further and explain to Kenyans where the MPs were when this bill was passed. Stop taking Kenyans for a ride and take responsibility for your share of the blame.

Submitted by wanjohij
Posted January 06, 2009 04:46 PM

I Personally dont support at all the communication bill act, But I cant help myself to question the character of all the 222 Mps, They are simply taking us for a ride, where were you when the bill passed in parliament? why create a mess yourself and then later pretend to be a hero by cleaning your own mess? Just like the majority of you were willing to pay tax on your hefty allowances when interviewed individually by the media is the same on this bill ie you appear to reject it in public but support it when in parliament,

Submitted by kkebuchi
Posted January 06, 2009 04:17 PM

ODM must think we are fools...what are they upto? Do they just want media attention?

Submitted by Akaali
Posted January 06, 2009 03:41 PM

Jokers. The speaker of the house is ODM!! How could they not know? Fact is, they get paid for work they don't do. I wish the press would focus on the fact that MPs could have had the bill thrown out. In reality, Kibaki had no choice but to sign it - it had been through 3 hearings in Parliament.

Submitted by kj474
Posted January 06, 2009 03:03 PM

ODM want to play opposition even when in government?! Part of being in government is taking collective responsibility. ODM is part of the government and therefore they are responsible along with PNU for the passing of this bill. Enough populism please ODM, take responsibility for once.