‘My ministry is in charge!’ – Aisha Jumwa retorts at Moses Kuria over royalties issue
Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Gender, Culture, Arts and Heritage Aisha Jumwa has responded to her colleague in charge of Public Service Moses Kuria over artistes' royalties.
In a statement on Monday, February 12, 2024, Kuria announced that the government is spearheading amendments to the Copyright Act to create a government-run Collective Management Organisation.
According to Kuria, if the amendments sail through, all music, copyrights and royalties will be paid through e-Citizen.
"The government is spearheading amendments to the Copyright Act to create a government-run Collective Management Organisation. All music, copyrights and royalties will be paid through E-Citizen. Our artists will be individually registered. They can view online how much money is collected. Siku 40 za wezi wa jasho ya artists zimeisha," Kuria stated.
However, in what looks like disharmony in the Kenya Kwanza administration, Jumwa rubbished Kuria's claims, insisting that her ministry was in charge of the issue and had plans.
"I like the zeal of my colleague and friend Moses Kuria and in the spirit of one government approach, this opinion is valid. However, my ministry through the state Department of Culture, Arts & Heritage is in charge and is working on streamlining the industry," Jumwa stated.
According to Jumwa, there are ongoing discussions already ongoing, which would give directions on the matter.
"There are ongoing discussions with stakeholders in the industry with the aim of streamlining it. Once discussions are concluded, the ministry will pronounce itself on the next course of action," Jumwa added.
Ezekiel Mutua responds to Kuria
Music Copyright Society Of Kenya (MCSK) CEO Ezekiel Mutua also faulted Kuria over the announcement, saying the government's role is to create a conducive environment for CMOs to thrive.
Mutua said that since Kenya is a signatory to an international convention that guarantees CMOs the right to operate without state interference, the proposal by Kuria is not viable.
"The practice world over in respect to royalties management is for the Government to create a conducive environment for CMOs to thrive. The Govt cannot interfere with a private right. Kenya is a signatory to the WIPO convention and the principles of WIPO do not allow Government interference with the running of CMOs," Mutua stated.
"MCSK is monitoring the developments including the ongoing Amendment to the Copyright Act and will give our proposals on how we can collaborate with the Government to make music business more profitable and respectable."
CMOs in Kenya
Currently, there are five licenced CMOs in Kenya including the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), The Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya (KOPIKEN) and Performance Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).
Recently, MCSK announced the distribution of Ksh20 million to 16,000 artistes, translating to ana average of Ksh1,250.
In the 2024 payouts, Rehema Lugose was the highest-paid artiste taking home a cheque of Ksh757,092, followed by Rueben Kigame who pocketed Ksh122,410 and Otile Brown at Ksh120,000.
Others include Praise Makena (Ksh110,000), Marakwet Daughter (Ksh108, 123), Stephen Kasolo (Ksh106,862), Joseph Shisia Wasira (Ksh101,137), Joseph Ngala (Ksh101,032), Jackson Wambua (Ksh91, 524), Solomon Mkubwa (Ksh74,138) and John De Mathew (Ksh70,094).