President Uhuru Kenyatta will return the contentious Media Bill to Parliament when he officially receives it.
The President has not officially received the Bill but he has informally discussed its contents with his legal and media advisers, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said today in his media briefing.
On the contentious issue about Parliament establishing a body to set media standards, Mr Manoah said Article 34 (5) does not envisage self regulation and that there should be no debate on the same as the body to be constituted needs to reflect interests of society.
“Article 34 (5) demands that the body be free of control by government, political or commercial interests,” Mr Manoah said.
However, State House Spokesperson said President Kenyatta will address himself to all issues, including procedure to be followed on the appointees to the Communication Authority of Kenya when he sends his memorandum to Parliament.
On the stalemate between the National Assembly and Judiciary, Mr Manoah said the President will by the end of the week convene a meeting with the House Speaker and the Chief Justice to find a solution to the standoff.
UNIFYING THE COUNTRY AND ENSURING CONSENSUS
He said the decision to convene the meeting is in line with the President’s constitutional mandate of unifying the country and ensuring consensus-based approach on national issues.
Said Mr. Manoah, “It is important that the Executive acknowledges and enhances the perception of judicial independence. It is also important that it be acknowledged that the National Assembly – as part of the legislature – is the representative of the people and exerciser of Kenya’s sovereignty.”
On regional integration, Mr Manoah said Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan are aggressively pursuing their infrastructure agenda and that a groundbreaking ceremony of the Standard Gauge Railway will take place on November 28th in Mombasa.
He also stated that Kenya and Tanzania have good bilateral relations and that the two Heads of State met last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they held fruitful talks. The leaders were at SADC/ ICGLR summit on the crisis in the Congo.
“Kenya’s goal has been and remains to facilitate free movement of people, goods and services across our region – that’s the essence of regional integration, Mr Manoah said.
Responding to questions from the journalists on the Westgate Mall terror attack, the State House Spokesperson noted that the building is no longer a crime scene and can now be accessed.
The bodies that have been retrieved from the rubble are undergoing ‘anthropological forensic analysis’.
He said the government will issue a comprehensive report once the forensic investigations are over.