Relief for Embarambamba after KFCB agrees to alternative dispute resolution

Barely hours after lawyer Danstan Omari came to the defence of Gusii-based gospel artiste Christopher Musioma aka Embarambamba, leaders met and agreed that the controversy surrounding his songs be resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution.

This serves as a reprieve to the artiste who had initially been ordered to pay a whopping Sh6.4 million in film and licensing fees and to delete some songs from his YouTube account.

South Mugirango MP and National Assembly Majority Whip Silvanus Osoro, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) CEO Dr Ezekiel Mutua, the Acting CEO of the Kenya Film Classifications Board Nelly Muluka and Mr Omari, amongst others met on Wednesday to discuss Embarambamba’s issue.

“We are going back to ADR. We had serious discussions with Mr Mutua, MP Osoro and Ms Muluka and we have agreed that he (Embarambamba) will continue with his work,” Mr Omari told NTV on the phone.

On his Facebook page, MP Osoro announced that Embarambamba had committed to “clean content going forward as a different trajectory is being pursued towards resolving the demand of Sh6.4 million by the KFCB”.

“The temporary ban on counter creation is lifted and he is now free to engage within acceptable limits,” MP Osoro’s statement read further.

On his part, Dr Mutua, also on Facebook, averred that “everyone deserves a second chance”.

According to Dr Mutua, Embarambamba needs help to become a better artist.”…we have embarked on the journey to help Embarambamba reform. I hope to God that this guy’s energy can be turned into something constructive,” said Dr Mutua.

Earlier, Mr Omari wrote a letter to Ms Muluka, accusing her of wanting to kill Embarambamba’s music career by tearing his songs as “indecent”.

Mr Omari defended Embarambamba saying, “he is a minister of the word of God whose creative works have all through been done with the aim of ministering the gospel and recruiting souls for Christ”.

The advocate argued that Embarambamba’s creativity crafted some of the contentious songs, like the one titled ‘Niko Uchi’.”… ‘Niko Uchi’ forms part of his genius creation aimed at reaching the deaf who lack the ability to hear his message but are nonetheless able to understand the message from pictures and scenes of the song,” the letter continued.

On February 28, 2024, Ms Muluka wrote to Embarabamba over his over 1000 song videos on YouTube, especially the one titled ‘Niko Uchi’.”Your over 1,000 videos on YouTube and the one titled ‘Niko Uchi’ among others, have been criticised for being blasphemous and contains offensive and vulgar language, thus eliciting sharp reaction and outcry from the public,” Ms Muluka’s letter read in part.

Accordingly, KFCB demanded that Embarambamba cease from circulating and broadcasting his music videos.

He was also instructed to comply with the requirements of the law by obtaining a film license and classification before exhibiting to the public.

But Mr Omari lambasted Ms Muluka for lacking precision and being discriminatory and hostile to Embarambamba.

“While you make reference to the over 1000 videos in our client’s YouTube channel, you have failed to particulize the videos in issue”.Mr Omari faulted KFCB for failing to give his client a fair administrative action by failing to invite him to the board to clarify some issues leading to the “administrative error”.

“We note that your impugned decision is discriminative and hostile to our clients rights to equality before the law,” he wrote.

The Board claimed that Embarambamba had contravened Sections 4(Part II) and 12 of the Cap 222 governing the creation, broadcasting, possession, distribution and exhibition of audio-visual content in Kenya.

“It is through my songs that I feed my parents and send my children to school. I have no other job,” the shaken Embarambamba had cried earlier.

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