IG of Police Mutyambai bars police from MCSK field activities

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019 11:00 |

 Elly Gitau

The Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) has been dealt a blow after the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai banned police from accompanying its enforcement officers during their field operations. 

In an official letter dated August 28, and copied to Kenya Police Service Deputy IG Edward Mbugua, his Administration Police counterpart Noor Gabow and Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti, Mutyambai said police officers were using the raids by MCSK to fleece members of the public.

“My office has learnt that members of staff from Music Copyright Society of Kenya have been hiring police officers to offer security during their operations and they have been extorting money from members of the public and using the police officers as bait to demand more money.

In this regard, I hereby direct that no police officers are authorised to be accompanying MCSK staff while performing their operations. This malpractice has been tainting the name of National Police Service,” read the letter.

More confusion

This comes in the wake of heightened tension pitting Kenyan musicians and music users such as hotels, bars and restaurants on one side and the collective management organisations (CMOs)— MCSK, Performers Rights Society of Kenya (Prisk) and Kenya Association of Music Producers (Kamp)— on the other.

The former group has been complaining of harassment by CMOs, especially during the raids in their premises over licenses. Two weeks ago, the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC) and Pubs Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (Perak) instructed their members not to play Kenyan music in their premises. They were reacting to a “punitive” directive by the CMOs on payment of royalties. 

Recently, musicians were up in arms after MCSK paid them a paltry Sh2,530 in royalties. 

However, the organisation was quick to defend itself saying the payments were for a two-month period of June and July. 

Yesterday, MCSK chair Japheth Kasanga said he hadn’t seen the letter by the IG and claimed the directive would bring more confusion in royalties collection.

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