MPs vow to reject bill seeking to charge Kenyans for social media groups

MPs have vowed to throw out a Bill seeking to charge Kenyans for Social media groups.

Members of Parliament said they will throw out a bill seeking to charge Kenyans for creating social media groups.

The National Assembly’s Committee on Information Communication Technology (ICT) committee chair William Kisang said the Bill is not implementable and will not see the light of the day.

“We will call the MP after he tables the Bill and give him expert advice, we should be realistic, even if we passed the Bill it will be quashed by the courts,” Kisang said.

He was seconded by Godfrey Osotsi, a member of the Kisang-led committee who faulted the Bill saying that what it is seeking to achieve is covered in the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crime Act passed by the National Assembly last year.

Osotsi wondered how the Communications Authority would license millions of administrators of WhatsApp and Facebook groups.

The controversial Bill is being sponsored by Malava MP Malulu Injendi and wants all administrators of Facebook or WhatsApp groups to get licenses from the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) at a prescribed fee.

“The Commission may on application in a prescribed manner and upon payment of a prescribed fee, grant a license authorising any person to establish a social media platform for purposes of communication,” it reads in part.

The proposed law will also require that WhatsApp group administrators approve members and content using legal documents.

The administrators of a WhatsApp group will further be expected to keep all the data of the users of the platform and submit the same to the authorities when required.

He or she will also have to ensure that members of the WhatsApp group are of ‘age of majority.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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