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Veteran musician seeks revocation of MCSK, KAMP & PRISK licences

Veteran musician Justus Manthi Ngemu has approached the court seeking an order to revoke licences issued by the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) to three collective management organisations (CMOs) mandated to collect royalties on behalf of music producers, publishers and artists.

In court papers, Ngemu argues that the renewal of operational licences issued by KECOBO to Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MSCK) , Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) and Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) was illegal.

“The renewal (of licences) was done in contravention of the law because there is currently no board for the Kenya Copyright Board,” Manthi said in court papers through his lawyer Stephen Gitonga.

Manthi claims that KECOBO’s top management was unlawfully forced to issue the licences by the Parliamentary Committee on Sports and Culture when its executive director Edward Sigei appeared before the committee.

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Sigei appeared before the committee chaired by Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama earlier this month to answer allegations of corruption and abuse of office.

The CMOs had also lodged a complaint with the committee, accusing the regulator boss of incompetence and recommending that he be relieved of his duties or posted elsewhere.

The three CMOs also accused Sigei of always frustrating their licence renewals because there is no board to which he is answerable and as such he is in charge.

MCSK, which was denied a licence because it did not meet the required obligations, seized the opportunity to complain to the committee, which then ordered Sigei to grant it the licence.

This is the illegality that Ngemu is pointing out, asking the court to set aside these directives, arguing that the committee has no power to issue such directives.

“It is just to grant this application for priority hearing and make such orders as are just to suspend the illegality which has been given effect by an unconstitutional edict issued and communicated by the Parliamentary Committee on Sports and Culture,” Ngemu argues.

The matter came up for further directions on Tuesday, May 23.

Also read: EXCLUSIVE: Bien: How I spent the 14k MCSK paid me