The Economist is reporting that Kenya's film censor is out of control and riding a wave of popularist support for his bollox claims that is seeing an expansion of his remit.
In addition to his day job of censoring films, Ezekiel Mutua, the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), has been making bollox claims, for instance that his organisation will need to raid strip clubs to 'prevent a wave of bestiality'.
He has also raged against homosexuality and threatened to regulate Netflix as a possible threat to national security.
In March he claimed that foreigners were organising a mass sex and drugs party called Project X in Nairobi, which they would film and sell as pornography. In July he threatened a nightclub over a speed-dating night he claimed was an orgy of
lesbians . And last month he claimed that women were being paid peanuts to perform sex acts on dogs.
This wave of censoriousness has amused the Kenyan press and made Mutua into a national figure and has gained him a following among the easily outraged. He even seems to have plenty of fans in government, leading to a bill in parliament to widen the remit
of the film board to regulate advertisements and live events, such as stage plays.
If the Films and Publications Amendment Bill is passed in its current form, South Africans may no longer upload videos to online channels, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram -- unless they register as a distributor and pay a censorship
A spokesperson from the Democratic Alliance party, Phumzile van Damme, said that government is increasingly overplaying its hand with regard to freedom of speech:
There seems to be a firm hand in a broader project of censorship that is very worrying.The 'Internet Censorship Bill' in its current form gives government wide-sweeping powers to censor content on the internet.
The bill seeks to restrict the distribution of digital films in that such content needs to be pre-classified by the Films and Publications Board. The terminology used in this provision is broad enough to include all digital videos and
films, also user-generated video materia uploaded to social media platforms.
A section in the bill states that any person who distributes a film or game classified as X18 must keep a register when access to the content is granted to a user. The user's name, address and age will be captured in the register and the CEO of
the Films and Publications Board will have access to this register.
Van Damme commented:
This is an unjustifiable breach of the right to privacy, which includes the right to not have your private communications infringed.
Meanwhile as the bill is being discussed in parliament, South Africa's film censors have demand that Google censor seraches for adult material.
The Film and Publication Board has stated it is unacceptable for people to be able to access pornography with a Google search. The FPB made the statement during a parliamentary hearing into submissions on what has been called its Internet
censorship bill. Lawyer Nicholas Hall quoted the FPB during the IESA's submissions on the FPB Amendment Bill.
FPB: It is unacceptable that you can type in Pornography and get access to porn, Google needs to take steps to address this
South Africa's department of trade and industry (dti) has announced that it will open public discussions about the idea of giving the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) control over all advertising.
The current industry funded solution is cash-strapped and litigation-entangled.
It is probably time that the ASA was given statutory status because right now it is still constituted as an ad industry self-regulatory body that has no power to pronounce on advertising from non-members. It is pretty much toothless and moneyless.
The only time advertising agencies take notice of the ASA is when one of their own ads comes under fire and then they cackle like hens and beat their breasts for a while before retreating back into their self-serving shells.
If the ASA becomes a statutory body or government agency, the ad industry only has itself to blame.
But in its present form , the ASA cannot possibly become a statutory body, mainly because some of its regulations are unconstitutional. It will also have to change its revenue model. With so many former funders having bailed out and leaving them facing
bankruptcy only a few months ago, the ASA has been forced to seek revenue from their adjudication process -- charging a considerable amount of money for advertisers to appeal.
In addition, the ASA will also have to bring a lot more balance to the process of advertising regulation. Right now a single consumer can complain about an advertisement and this is enough for the ASA to start their processes. There has been any number
of instances over the years of individuals complaining rather flippantly and often downright stupidly about advertisements, resulting in the advertisers having to spend an awful lot of money defending themselves. The cost is enormous and even bigger when
one takes into account lost opportunities.
The ad industry is in a mess. Certainly, regulation is needed for advertising that is dishonest or untrue. But, when it comes to advertising that might be perceived by a few consumers to be offensive, this requires adjudicators to play god. And there is
absolutely no way a few lawyers or even advertising experts on ASA panels can possibly determine whether something that is offensive to one person is equally offensive to millions.
Having nude photos on mobile devices in Uganda can land you in jail for up to 10 years under the country's nasty anti-pornography law, which parliament passed in 2014.
Arch moralist Simon Lokodo, Uganda's minister of 'ethics', told state-owned media that the country has bought an $88,000 pornography-detection machine from a company in South Korea. It will arrive in Uganda next month, he said.
Lokodo reportedly says it will be able to detect, control, and scrutinize porn on mobile handsets and other electronic devices.
The irony of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a pornography-detection machine in the face of competing needs that are arguably much more urgent was not lost on everyone. In particular, Uganda at one point earlier this year had no working
radiotheraphy machines for cancer patients. A tweeter called Payizus tellingly commented:
The gov't of Uganda bought a porn detecting machine. The same gov't is still looking money to buy a cancer Machine. #Mbarara #CancerCharity
Kenya's new TV censorship code for free-to-air radio and television broadcasting services in Kenya came into force at midnight on 1st July 2016.
Radio and TV broadcasters were now required to transmit programming appropriate for family audiences from 5am to 10pm.
Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) director general Francis Wangusi said in a statement the new code set standards for the time and manner of programmes to be broadcast by licensees. He said:
Licensees are therefore discouraged from airing content that depicts or contains scenes that are rated by the Kenya Film Classification Board as adult, or are of a language intended for adult audiences during the watershed period.
The code also set out the minimum amount of airtime to be devoted to local content with TV broadcasters expected to meet the 40 percent local content quota within the first year, and 60 percent within the fourth year of commencement of operations.
The code equally required broadcasters to take specific steps to promote the understanding and enjoyment of programmes transmitted by their stations by persons with disability in line with article 54 of the constitution that guaranteed persons with
disability the right of reasonable access to information.
Other key provisions of the code included protecting the rights to privacy and safeguarding intellectual property rights of content producers. It also facilitated access to balanced and unbiased news and other programming.
A complaints handling procedure sets out steps in resolving broadcast content-related complaints. The procedure required consumers to lodge complaints with the offending broadcaster first and only escalate complaints that had not been adequately
addressed by licensees to the authority.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) now wants to censor wedding videos and for videographers airing their works in public to be licenced. The KFCB said:
A videographer who exhibits, distributes or broadcasts a film to the public ought to obtain a filming license. A videographer intending to exhibit or sale the recorded content publicly must adhere to the law.
The call comes from a Commission led by Ezekiel Mutua which has already been criticised for overstepping on its mandatews.
KFCB also wants all broadcasters to submit programmes for rating starting July 1 this year.
The Ugandan Government has established a Pornography Control Committee which will be tasked with, among other things, ensuring early detection and prohibition of dissemination of pornography. The commitee will work with the minstry of ethics and
integrity, the Uganda Police Force and any other agencies of individuals that it feels will help it.
According to the Minister of Information and National Guidance, Jim Muhwezi, the committee will help curb the problem of pornography that has eroded the African moral fabric.
The nine member committee will be chaired by Dr Anette Kasimbazi Kezaabu and its other members will include Pastor Martin Ssempa , Sheikh Mohammad Ali Waiswa among others.
A kissing scene has been censored from a new Coca-Cola TV advert for audiences in Kenya following complaints it was somehow unsuitable for family viewing.
The advertisement, part of Coca-Cola's ongoing Taste the Feeling campaign, wound up some of the easily offended. Kenya's Film Classification Board (KFCB) explained that the ad caused a public outcry from viewers who took issue with the
offensive scenes involving kissing, violating family values.
An edited version that drops the scene will start running on Wednesday evening in Kenya after discussions between the censors and local reps of the Coca Cola company.
Coca-Cola's new campaign is being rolled out worldwide this year, depicting a diverse cross-section of people from around the world enjoying 'their' Coca-Cola in simple, everyday moments. One of the commercials features a montage of good-looking
characters engaged in various activities with a frosty Coca-Cola in hand, including the scene in question of a young couple having a steamy everyday moment whilst kissing in a library.
After a long debate, the South African government has decided to maintain its prohibition of online casino gambling. This was revealsed in a policy document released by the Department of Trade and Industry.
South Africa allows online sports betting though, and this will be allowed to continue. Now National Gambling Act amendments will order ISPs to ban all access to casino websites and forbid financial institutions to process any banking transactions.
Enforcement responsibilities will be undertaken by the National Gambling Regulator.
The Orwellian sounding Tunisian Musicians Syndicate has banned singer Hana al Zughlami aka Tunisian Naglaa from working in the country under claims that she promoted vice and immorality in her latest video and single La Ykhebbesh Wala
Ydebbish , reported news site Al Bawaba.
The syndicate has also stated that legal action would be taken against anyone who collaborates with the artist.
The actions taken by the Tunisian syndicate mirror those of Egypt's controversial Musicians Syndicate which in January 2016 banned six singers from performing due to supposedly sexually suggestive and racy behaviour on stage.
The Kenyan Film Classification Board ( KFCB ) has ordered Google to pull down a video that the agency considers as promoting gay relationships.
KFCB Chief Executive, Ezekiel Mutua wrote to Google Kenya and other state agencies asking them to take action against creators and distributors of the music video titled Same Love by Art Attack whose lyrics, he said, advocate gay rights in Kenya.
Kenya must not allow its people to become the Sodom and Gomorrah of the current age through psychological drive from such content. We have written to Google to remove the video from their platforms. We expect they will do it within one week from now to
avoid further violation of the law.
He reiterated that Article 45 of the Kenyan Constitution defines marriage as a union between persons of the opposite sex and the Penal Code Section 162 to 165 criminalises homosexual behaviour.
Banned gay music video becomes a hit Last month Kenyan censors banned the country's first gay-themed music video -- and the Streisand Effect immediately kicked in. The video, Same Love has so far attracted over 135,000 views.
The song is a remix by Kenyan rapper Art Attack The artist said of the video:
We expected that this will create controversy. We expected that a lot of people will talk about it but we didn't expect the amount of publicity it has received. The erotic scenes were meant to show that these people also fall in love.
In a news conference, Ezekiel Mutua from Kenya's film classification board said:
The video currently circulating on YouTube consists of lyrics that strongly advocate for gay rights in Kenya, complete with graphic sexual scenes between people of the same gender, as well as depiction of nudity and pornography.
Last year, Kenya's ungodly deputy president has said there is no room for homosexuality in Kenya's godly society.
South Africa's communications censor Icasa and the Film & Publication Board plan to sign an agreement in terms of which the two organisations will work together on issues of co-jurisdiction .
The agreement is aimed at establishing a formal relationship between the FPB and Icasa to deal with the:
uniform classification and labelling of content by the industry including the wireless application service providers, electronic communications service providers and broadcasters, and creation of awareness on compliance with applicable laws.
[The agreement will] promote information sharing and research between the two entities on matters of mutual interest in the realm of content regulation as well as promote awareness of the role of Icasa and the FPB in the protection of children against
The parties are set to sign the agreement on 14 March.
Kenyan broadcasters will not be allowed to air adult content from 5am to 10pm Eastern African time, from June 2016.
A statement from the Kenya Communications Authority said the law is to protect children:
No broadcasting station shall air programmes, including interactive call-ins or discussion sessions, whose content is suitable for adult-only audience during the watershed period.
Popular stations in Kenya air explicit content during the day, a practise that appears to get them higher ratings and attracts more commercials. Reports say many are amused by the kind of content discussed and call into the programmes to share their
experiences related to sex with their partners. For instance, husbands report their wives while the divorced also narrate their former sex life.
The new set of amendments will also hinder preachers who solicit for funds from their followers. Kenyans have been victims of fraudulent preachers who stage-manage every proceeding during their services to capture attention.