Eyes on Uhuru as Mucheru Disowns Controversial ICT Bill

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and ICT CS Joe Mucheru at a past function
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and ICT CS Joe Mucheru at a past function.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has disowned the recently passed, albeit controversial, ICT bill hence turning the gaze to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In a statement he shared on Saturday, June 11, the CS made it clear that the Ministry of ICT had opposed the bill at every stage since it was first presented in Parliament in 2016.

He further claimed that the bill, which was introduced by Garissa Town MP Aden Duale, was approved by lawmakers due to the current political climate.

"This ICT Bill is a private member's bill. As a Ministry, we continuously fought against this bill in its various forms.

File image of ICT CS Joe Mucheru
File image of ICT CS Joe Mucheru

"The political season comes with all manner of surprises including failed assurances by the people responsible. I will do my part to safeguard our thriving sector," stated Mucheru.

The bill was opposed in almost all corners of the technology circles owing to its stringent requirements touching on its practitioners.

For instance, the bill sought to regulate anyone who 'employs technologies to collect, process, store or transfer information for a fee.'

It, therefore, seeks to have all professionals in the sector register with a national body with the set requirement being a university degree.

People then raised concerns arguing that the new stringent rules would lock out ICT practitioners proficient in the industry but lacking a degree from a reputable university.

Kenyans are now urging the CS to advise President Uhuru Kenyatta not to sign the contentious bill into law claiming that some of the practitioners without degrees were paramount to ICT success.

"Since you advise the President, can we get an assurance that it won’t be signed into law," stated Eric Jackson.

"Just call the president and request him not to sign. The bill was first introduced in 2016 by the former Majority Leader, Aden Duale, and supported by Kenyan MP, Godfrey Osotsi. In 2018 it was reintroduced by Osotsi," added Patrick Ngigi.

The bill has been forwarded to the Head of State and awaits him to sign it into law or return it to Parliament with a memorandum on his reservations.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday at State House, Nairobi signed into law five parliamentary bills among them the 2022 Supplementary I Appropriation Bill (Supplementary Budget).
President Uhuru Kenyatta signs into law five parliamentary bills on Monday, April 4, at State House, Nairobi.