Media sector to change following inauguration of a Tribunal
The Multimedia Appeals Tribunal team was inaugurated on Tuesday by the Information and Communications, and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary (CS), Joe Mucheru.
The six member team chaired by William Oketch will resolve disputes against journalists and media enterprises, as well as adjudicate cases against decisions by the Communications Authority of Kenya and communications service providers.
The Tribunal created under the Kenya Information and Communication Act 2013 will deal with disputes arising from activities in the multimedia and telecommunication industry.
While inaugurating the tribunal at Teleposta Towers, Mucheru assured the team of government’s support to enable the body contribute robustly to the country’s communication sector.
“Let us grow Kenya, let us move the country forward and use the available huge opportunity to make Kenya an ICT hub,” said Mucheru.
He said there is need to create awareness of the existence of the tribunal so that the public can know the functions and the role it will play in the communication sector.
The CS hoped that the tribunal will be fair and just in their ruling and provide a level playing field in the sector.
Oketch said the creation of the body was in line with international best practices that delink dispute settlement from the regulator. He further noted that the tribunal will instill indiscipline, ethical values and professionalism in journalism.
In his remarks, the Communications Authority of Kenya Director General, Francis Wangusi said there is need to amend the Kenya Information and Communication Act 2013 to ensure that no media and regulatory case goes to court before it is fully heard and determined by the tribunal.
He noted that already there is a backlog of media and regulatory cases pending in court that needs to be expedited.
“We will give the team the cooperation and support they need to fulfill their mandate,” added Wangusi.
The members of the tribunal who include Brenda Akinyi, Isaiah Cherutich, Janet Wekesa and Ibrahim Mutembei were sworn in last Friday, June 16 at the High Court.
Present at the function were the Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunication, Sammy Itemere and Chief Executive Officer Kenya Communications Secretariat, Eng. Daniel Obam among others.
By Bernadette Khaduli