MCSK, PRISK, KAMP decry exclusion from distribution of Uhuru’s Ksh.100M promise to artists

MCSK, PRISK, KAMP decry exclusion from distribution of Uhuru’s Ksh.100M promise to artists

A standoff now ensues between the Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage over President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Ksh.100 million promise to Kenyan artists to cushion them from Covid-19 effects.

This comes after the CMOs – Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) and the Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP) – rejected a program to distribute the stimulus package for artists announced by the ministry on Monday.

The CS Amina Mohamed-led ministry on Monday unveiled the program  – dubbed ‘Work for Pay’ – whereby artists from different sectors of the creative industry that produce works that entertain and educate Kenyans on the safety and precautions to curb the spread of Covid-19 are the ones that would be eligible for the Ksh.100 million.

According to the CS, “taking into account the number of artists in the country, giving cash handouts would have been ineffective in cushioning households.”

She further added that the government agencies under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage will supervise and coordinate the implementation of the program and distribution of the funds.

The CMOs however – in a joint press statement released on Tuesday – protested this move and their exclusion from the process saying they have been waiting for communication from the ministry since the president’s announcement but none came forth.

“We KAMP, PRISK and MCSK, are Kenya’s only Collective Management Organizations. Our combined membership is about 20,000, composed of composers, authors, publishers, performers (musicians & actors), and producers of sound recordings and dramatic works and accordingly, considering our mandate and membership, the CMOs are integral and have a fundamental role in facilitating the President’s program herein,” read the statement.

“Unfortunately, however, up to this point, we have neither been informed of the progress nor consulted in the formulation of the above program. This is to us an omission that is likely to result in a myriad of loopholes and subsequent challenges both of which are likely to hinder the full success of the program that could deny our deserved members their deserved benefits.”

It added: “…as CMOs, we feel to be the best placed institutions through which this well intentioned stimulus project aimed at assisting Kenyan artistes, should be implemented. Consequently, we humbly request the CS to consider CMOs to be part of the institutions to implement the Presidents’ good intended gesture.”

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