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Ezekiel Mutua summoned by Senate over film licenses

The Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua has been summoned to appear before a Senate committee following an outcry on proposals to charge film makers licensing fees.

The senate wants KFCB Board to shed more light on the punitive new laws which under the proposal, will make it illegal to create any film meant for public exhibition without a film licence from the board.

In a tweet Nairobi Senator Johnstone Sakaja, who chairs the Labour and Social Welfare Committee, while answering questions from youths who have opposed the new law said he had summoned Mutua and his team to appear before the committee next week.

Also summoned are other stakeholders in an initiative Sakaja says is aimed at supporting the Creative Industry.

According to KFCB, as long as the intention public of filming and distribution/exhibition, a license is mandatory.

The board has issued a 14-day notice to all offenders and defaulters to comply with the provision of the Act after which action will be taken.

The Films and Stage Plays Act CAP 222 requires film makers to obtain licenses for all filming whose content is meant for public exhibition.

Section 2 of the Act interprets film as a cinematographic, recorded video cassette, recorded video discs, any recorded audiovisual medium, and includes any commentary and any music or other sound effect, associated with the film, and any part of a film.


“Where the offence is committed by a company or other corporate bodes or of persons, every person charged with, or concerned or acting in the control or management shall be guilty and liable to the penalties in the Film and Stage Plays Act.”

The board says that any person found guilty of this offence contravenes the law and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both.

In an advert carried in the local dailies, the board said the new regulations are aimed at arresting film makers who do not have licences, a move that has been interpreted as being overly punitive to creators.