Save the press from State control, media urge judges

Press lawyers told the judges to save the country from going back to the days when media freedom was controlled by the State.

Thursday February 11 2016

Justice Isaac Lenaola. Media firms' lawyers on February 10, 2016 told judges to save the country from going back to the days when media freedom was controlled by the State.  FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Justice Isaac Lenaola. Media firms' lawyers on February 10, 2016 told judges to save the country from going back to the days when media freedom was controlled by the State. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PAUL OGEMBA
More by this Author

Journalists and media houses have accused the government of seeking to control them through enactment of two repressive laws.

Nation Media Group, Standard Group, Royal Media Services, Kenya Union of Journalists and Kenya Editors Guild argued that their petitions against the new laws are not meant to stop them from being accountable, but to ensure that the supervisory authority is not controlled by the government.

Their lawyers Paul Muite, James Orengo, Philip Murgor, Kiragu Kimani, Issa Mansur and John Ohaga told the judges to save the country from going back to the days when media freedom was controlled by the State.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION

“We cannot accept to claw back the gains we have made by allowing the Media Council Act and the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act to operate. The Constitution gives everyone a right to information which can only be achieved through a free media,” said Muite.

He said the new laws create two authorities to illegally punish media houses and journalists, adding that proper control of the media can only be achieved through creation of an independent authority.

Mr Orengo said that the two laws as passed did not meet constitutional threshold for lack of consultation between the National Assembly and the Senate, and for being interfered with by the President.

Judges Isaac Lenaola, Weldon Korir and Mumbi Ngugi adjourned the hearing to February 19 when the AG and the Communication Authority will make their submissions.

advertisement