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The Bill To Gag Press Is Finally signed.


As had been the fear of most Kenyans,President Mwai Kibaki finally signed the bill to gag the press,ignoring pleas from Kenyans and the Media Community not to do so.The Prime Minister,Raila Odinga had earlier promised Kenyans that he would ensure that the Media has all the freedom it deserves.

Kenya was beginning to heal from the wounds that were inflicted into her early last year,by experiencing some quiet.Residents of Kibera slums were out protesting yesterday.Kenyans will not accept this gag that has no base (a gagger can never have a base anyway)!

Now there are leaflets of propaganda,telling why the Government must "sieve" what is aired by the media.Pornography and incitement have been cited as some of the major causes of the master sieve to work.If it was within the power of Kenyans then something different from propaganda could have been funded.All this is still misuse of the tax-payers money.

We are sure this is not the case.Some of the major causes may include exposure of what is going on,who earns how much,who does not pay taxes,who is corrupt...the list is endless.It is through the media that we got to follow up what was happening in our country during the elections,and who did what.This gag is for the interest of a corrupt few.

Gagging a media is like stopping a whole country.It's like suddenly switching off the lights,or blindfolding the patriotic Kenyans, and commanding them to grope in the dark.We will not grope in the dark.I would rather we improvise alternative means of lighting so that we can light the dark paths and walk ahead.Darkening our paths during this time when food prices are soaring and poverty biting hard is a slap too hard we will not give the other cheeck.

Leah Auma Okeyo.


Corine Milano's picture

Leah, what horrible news you

Leah, what horrible news you bring. Thank you for sharing this with us and letting us know what is happening in Kenya.

I wonder, how do you think this will affect projects like Ushahidi and PulseWire? Do you believe the media gag will have an impact on blogging and social networking news channels? It is my hope that Ushahidi and PulseWire can be a channel to broadcast some of that news that is being silenced.

I also wanted to point you and other Kenyan women on PulseWire to this great (but likely incomplete!) list of influential women in Kenya that I found during my daily news-comb.

Do you have any women to add? She requests additions in her comments, and I know you will have many to share! I would of course add you (hug!) and the other Kenyan changemakers on PulseWire, and Dr. Karambu Ringera, who was profiled last year in our February Kenya emagazine edition.

Looking forward to your thoughts—

With love!

I guess the media bill will not be powerful enough to go into internet channels or any Media Groups are not registered in Kenya.Channels like PulseWire would be the best to let out the news,and the voices that are being covered.It still remains a great disadvantage to many Kenyans who are not exposed to or cannot afford to access the internet for distance,knowledge or economic reasons.

Media owners and Kenyans are exerting a lot of pressure on the issue of this bill.Nobody will easily let go this time.

Let us shout out all our voices here and on our blogs where there are no silencers!


Kagwii's picture

Media 'gag'

Debate has now started (or is meant to start) around some of the contentious clauses in the media bill, hopefully there shall be some sort of sense.
I hate how the signing of the media bill has now thrown off the headlines issues such as MPs paying taxes and the price of maize flour for Kenyans, really this our government.........

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