What started as a serious matter of national importance with the DP’s traditional guards being withdrawn and replaced by Administration Police personnel is being turned into a joke with each passing day. With Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula being threatened of having his well-bred and microchipped German Shepherd dogs withdrawn and replaced with local breeds, now the latest to join in what is quickly becoming the William Ruto challenge is Lazarus Muli, head of Music Copyright Society of Kenya who complained that the reason they couldn’t collect enough royalties is because the government pulled out the team of police officers who were guarding them during their patrols to collect money.
Lazarus Muli was contesting the deregistering of his organisation about two weeks ago by the Kenya Copyright Board, KECOBO. Lazarus claimed that apart from the operating costs which ate into the money they collected, another major reason why their collection of royalties took a nosedive was because they no longer had police officers to escort them during their daily rounds.
The body famously caused a furore back in 2019 after it paid top musicians only 2500 as the money they were entitled to in royalties.
The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), late last month, announced a decision to deregister the three Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) namely Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) and the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).
The board, in a statement to newsrooms, said the decision was arrived at following failure by the CMOs to meet conditions set out in their provisional licenses in April this year and that were valid until May 30.
The conditions included: Holding an Annual General Meeting; allocating 70% of revenue for royalty payment; engaging with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) with a view to reaching a payment plan on tax arrears.
Others were; demonstrating evidence of marketing and promotion of the use of ICT collection system; uploading of repertoire to the system under KECOBO supervision; as well as implementing the CMO policy in total.
“By the time the Board was issuing these conditions, it noted that several conditions for the 2020 license period had not been achieved. The Board set the conditions on the understanding that rights holders would be relying on the royalties collected by CMOs during the pandemic period,” said KECOBO Executive Director Edward Sigei.
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