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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The First Media Bill Was Just Testing The Waters… Prepare Yourselves For "Pravda" In Kenya

Draconian CCK Bill Gives Authority Power To Decide What Gets Covered

The closer election day gets, the more I think that there is somebody within the president's campaign team deliberately doing everything to reduce the chances of the president being re-elected for a second term.

One of the favorite tools this traitor is using is provoking the media.

I say this because even as the President keeps everybody in suspense over the Media Bill that remains unsigned, yet another bill that will affect the operation of the media in Kenya is due for discussion in parliament soon.

I am convinced that the reason why Kenyans have been left hanging over the fate of the Media bill, which has already been passed by parliament is because powerful forces around the president are still pushing hard for him to sign it into law. Chances are high that he will do just that.

Significant proposals in the new proposed law soon to be tabled in the house include a clause that allows the minister in charge of internal security to raid any media house and to take away equipment. Most Kenyans have failed to see the government's position concerning the infamous raid on Standard newspapers where newspapers were set on fire.

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This little clause speaks louder than any government statement or denial crafted by the powerless government spin doctor, Alfred Mutua which are often meaningless. For instance the government says in a statement that they are sensitive to the plight of the common man and then in another statement suddenly bans plastic bags and even worse increases the tax on the plastic bags it leaves in the market. The sum result is a price hike of many basic commodities. Kenyans brace yourself for the October price shock, which has already started happening (have you been to the shops recently to purchase basics like Rice?)

The clause in the proposed CCK bill clearly tells Kenyans that the Kibaki administration has no iota of remorse over the brutal and illegal raid carried out on the Standard newspapers last year, so much so that they now want to legalize the whole process.

It has greatly simplified the choices for Kenyans in the coming general elections. It is now abundantly clear that a vote for Kibaki Abaki is a vote in support of a suppressed media or a vote for no free media at all. It is clearly a vote for Pravda-like media in Kenya. Pravda was the official government newspaper in communist Russia. It is really that simple.

The Kibaki government has been consistent in very few things. But the one thing they have been extremely consistent in doing is reigning in the free media. It started with the Standard raid and moved on to a effort to control the media which culminated in the Media Bill, which the president would just love to sign against his better judgement and is now extended to the pending Communications Commission Of Kenya Amendment Bill and probably many others that will proposed in Kibaki's second term, if Kenyans give him that term.

Many of us do not understand just how difficult it is for our local media to operate. Admittedly this is one of the reasons why this blog is so popular because we can publish things here that the media cannot touch. I also have the huge advantage of operating exclusively on the World Wide Web where informants with ver hot information are numerous, as opposed to a media that is still in control of conservatives who are just now beginning to grasp the power of the web. This is not a black mark against them because even the government itself has not fully grasped the implications of the web, more so what is bound to happen as they continue to pass draconian bills against press freedom.

The truth is that Kenyans are becoming more and more reliant on non-traditional mediums for their information and while it is true that the Internet by itself still does not reach enough Kenyans, when you combine it with word of mouth and the mobile phone, the effect and impact of blogs like this one multiplies many times over.

Executive Internet and computer training in the comfort of your office/home plus installation of software and hardware and computer accessories as well as networking. Reasonable rates. 0729-469 082. Email: danlievester@gmail.com. MOMBASA only.

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