An uproar has greeted a demand by Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) for Public Service Transport Vehicles to pay a Sh2,000 annual license to exhibit videos.
Speaking in Mombasa on Thursday, KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua also said all PSV operators tuning to radio stations should pay a broadcasting fee.
He said all the passenger vehicles must immediately obtain the required document before exhibiting any videos.
“Those tuning to radio stations will be held personally responsible because PSVs are not broadcasters. If they want to become broadcasters they should go to Communication Authority of Kenya and obtain licenses,” said Dr Mutua as he displayed the required license.
According to the license requirements, the content aired must be suitable for family viewing or listening, no pornographic, promoting of drugs and loud music.
However, Matatu Owners Association have faulted the order insisting it is punitive to the industry.
“We will not pay that amount. Matatu owners pay for radio at Music Copyright Sh3,990 yearly. We have insurance which is Sh9,007 per month for 14-seater. We pay Sh2,000 to Mombasa County and during motor vehicle inspection at Miritini we pay Sh10, 080 yearly,” said MOA Coast coordinator Salim Mbarak.
He instead urged the police to remove all screens in PSVs.
“If the problem is the screen let them be removed. We can’t pay two masters at the same time. They should sort their house,” he added.
Dr Mutua said it is a requirement of the law that any content that is displayed or exhibited to the public is submitted to the board for examination and classification.
He said most PSVs across the country have not complied with the requirement.
“They have continued to subject passengers to unrated and obscene content against their wish. They are a nuisance as they screen such obscene content and play loud music in violation of the rights of their passengers,” said Dr Mutua.
He said the crackdown which has gotten support from the Ministry of Interior aims at ensuring suitability of the exhibited content in PSV’s and protect children from premature exposure to adult content.
The board will work with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), National Environment Management Authority (Nema) and the police in the operation.
He defended the order saying the screening of unrated content in PSVs and exposure of children to obscenity goes against the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222, the Sexual Offences Act of 2006 and Childrens’ Act.
A countrywide crackdown of vehicles exhibiting content without licenses and prosecution of the culprits is ongoing at the Coast. Some 43 operators have been arrested and charged in court and 33 vehicles impounded.
The licenses can be obtained from all regional KFCB offices in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nairobi, Kakamega, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyeri, Embu, Garissa and Isiolo.