By Patrick Alushula Updated Friday, October 16th 2015
NAIROBI: Journalists have said Parliament is out to shrink the media space and get away with lack of accountability.
Following Parliament’s decision to keep a clause in the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill 2014, journalists who publish ‘libelous’ material about MPs could be fined up to Sh500,000 and serve a two-year jail term. KTN’s News Editor Aaron Ochieng’ said he hopes the Senate will dismiss the bill. “What the National Assembly did is shameful. Why is it that MPs are so afraid of the media?” asked Ochieng’. “This bill is draconian and aimed at killing democracy. If the President assents the bill as it is, it will kill the economy,” said Rob Jilo, who works for Capital FM. The Standard’s City Editor Everlyne Kwamboka said under-performing MPs may want to use the bill as a tool to escape scrutiny. Citizen TV’s Francis Gachuri said the clause is not only bad for journalists but also for any other Kenyan who would want to raise integrity issues touching on Parliament.