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Nairobi, August 22, 2007
President Kibaki rejects Media Bill 2007
President Mwai Kibaki was today presented with the Media Bill 2007, but refused to assent to it, saying the bill was a threat to the democratic gains that Kenya has made in the recent past.
Attorney General Amos Wako presented the bill to the President at State House Nairobi. The President made reference to Clause 35 subclause (4) as passed by the national assembly, which reads as follows
When a story includes unnamed parties who are not disclosed and the same becomes the subject of a legal tussle as to who is meant, then the editor shall be obligated to disclose the identity of the party or parties referred to.
President Kibaki termed the provision as ambiguous and likely to cause problems in its interpretation.
The meaning of the expression unnamed parties has not been qualified or restricted and can be construed to include subjects of a story as well as sources of information. This could act as a great inhibition of press freedom and undermine the democratic strides we have made as a nation. Said President Kibaki.
This afternoon the Head of State wrote a memorandum to the Speaker of the National Assembly giving his reasons for refusal to assent to the Media Bill 2007. In the Memorandum President Kibaki has advised that the clause in question be deleted because it is offending.
The President has refused to assent to the bill in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 46(3)and (4) of the Constitution of Kenya.
©2007 State House, Nairobi Kenya