The Kenya film classification board had issued a directive to public service vehicles to start paying an annual license fee of 2000 shillings in order to show videos, play music and tune in to radio stations in their matatus.
The KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua while speaking at the Travelers Beach Hotel in Mombasa on Thursday said that all media in PSVs shall be considered public exhibition. He, therefore, he urged all the stakeholders to be responsible for the content they show to the public with regard to the stipulations in the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222, the Children’s Act and the Sexual Offences Act 2016.
The licenses which all drivers are required to have are available in all regional KFCB branches in the country. This directive comes only a few days after about 43 matatu operators were arrested and 33 vehicles impounded in the ongoing crackdown for vehicles showing content without licenses.
This directive has not sat well with the owners of Public Service Vehicles as expressed by Salim Mbarak, the Coast Coordinator Matatu Owners Association.
“We will not pay that amount. Matatu owners pay for radio at Music Copyright 3,990 shillings yearly. We have insurance which is 9,007 shillings per month for 14-seater. We pay 2,000 shillings to Mombasa County and during a motor vehicle inspection at Miritini we pay Sh10, 080 yearly.”
Dr. Ezekiel Mutua, however, insisted that these licenses must be obtained in order to help protect children from exposure to adult content in these vehicles. A jail term of five years or a penalty of 200,000 shillings will be served to anyone who displays pornographic content in public.