15
ISSUE
34
By PSCU
T
he Government will move the Kenya
Copyright Board from the Office of
the Attorney General to the Ministry
of ICT as part of measures to protect musi-
cians from exploitation.
The announcement was made by Presi-
dent Uhuru Kenyatta when he led thousands
of mourners in sending off Benga music icon,
John Mwangi Ng’ang’a well-known as John
De’Mathew in Gatanga, Murang’a County to-
day.
The announcement on copyright board is
part of several measures the President revealed
that are aimed at protecting the rights of artistes.
The President said the right home ministry
for the copyright board is ICT because that is
where it can have the ability to monitor broad-
casters, telecoms and other entities that use pro-
ductions by artistes.
He said the Ministry of ICT is under rm
instructions to ensure that artistes get their dues
such as royalties.
“I have instructed the ICT Ministry to en-
sure that before renewal of licenses for broad-
casters and telecoms they must pay what they
owe artistes,” said the President when he spoke
at the funeral service of the late musician
held at Githambia Primary School grounds in
Murang'a County.
He said broadcasters and telecoms should
pay for music they play because they are using
it to make money.
The President who was accompanied by
Deputy President Dr William Ruto said he has
also instructed the Directorate of Criminal In-
vestigations to probe organisations that collect
money on behalf of musicians to see if they are
embezzling what they collect.
“The music industry has a problem that
needs to be xed. Recently we were told that an
organisation collected around Shs 200 million
on behalf of musicians and then claimed that
they spent 60 percent of that money as expenses
for the collection,” said the President.
He also encouraged Members of Parliament
to push through an amendment to the copyright
laws that is pending in parliament and which is
aimed at protecting the interests of artistes.
President Kenyatta said De’Mathew was his
personal friend who loved peace and who liked
to unite people and not to divide them.
In the late musician’s honour and to support
upcoming talented artistes, the President an-
nounced that the government will set up a Shs
10 million studio at Kirwara within Gatanga
Constituency.
DP Ruto said De’Mathew has been a promi-
nent champion of the interests of musicians
especially through Tamko Sacco where he was
chairman. The Sacco was established so as
to support local musicians to save and access
loans for their collective and individual pros-
perity.
Dr Ruto assured Tamko Sacco members of
government’s support in completing a com-
mercial building the group plans to construct
at their parcel of land in Kenol town off Thika-
Nyeri highway.
The funeral was attended by several Cabinet
Secretaries including James Macharia (Trans-
port), Amina Mohamed (Sports), Mwangi Ki-
unjuri (Agriculture) and Joe Mucheru (ICT).
Local leaders led by Governor Mwangi
wa Iria, Senator Irungu Kangata and County
Woman MP Sabina Chege said De’Mathew
was more than just a prominent musician to the
people of Murang'a.
Governor wa Iria said De’Mathew was con-
sidered to be a seer or prophet by locals and
many things he predicted came to pass.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and her
Nakuru counterpart Lee Kinyanjui were among
those who attended the funeral service.
President Kenyatta unveils
measures to fix the music industry