Public Service CS Moses Kuria has once again rebuked the CEO of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya, Ezekiel Mutua, in their ongoing dispute over artist royalties. Speaking on Wednesday night, Kuria asserted that there are no longer fools in Kenya, and he emphasized that challenging questions would be raised. However, he clarified that due process would be followed in addressing the matter.

During his appearance on Citizen TV, the Cabinet Secretary also commented that the era of exploiting Kenyan artists for personal gain is well behind us.

"You can tell that guy, Ezekiel Mutua, there are no more fools in this country. Questions are going to be asked; serious questions are going to be asked following due process. The time for misusing our artistes and talents is long gone.


"We are doing a lot as government to support talents, are we doing this to support them on one hand and then some people just mess them up on the other hand? As a responsible government we won't do it," Kuria said.

He further affirmed that the government has every intention to fix this.

"Due process will take place and we are going to salvage our artistes from the yoke of people who want to exploit them. They will get their rights. We have amendments coming in the Copyright Act and they are going to sort out this problem once and for all."

CS Kuria's comments followed the invitation of the EACC and DCI by the Kenya Copyright Board to investigate what Chairman Joshua Kutuny referred to as the disparity in amounts declared by the three Collective Management Organizations (CMOs). Kutuny asserted that the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), and Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) collectively collected Sh249,687,212.80 in royalties, but there were discrepancies in the amounts declared by individual entities.

“While KAMP and PRISK declared a collection of Sh249 million and they accounted for Sh61 million and Sh52.7 million, respectively, MCSK on its part declared receipts of Sh109 million representing a shortfall of Sh26 million,” Kutuny said.

According to Kutuny, the MCSK submitted a list of members who received royalties in 2023. However, upon review, the Board of Directors found that the information presented was inadequate and inconsistent with the details of joint collection.

In response, Mutua stated that the criteria for distribution, which would allocate 70 per cent of the collected funds to artists, does not exist.

He said the distribution which started on January 25, is still ongoing and will run until March 29, 2024.

“We ran a public notice on January 19 citing the amount of money to be distributed and the criteria to be used for distribution. We cited the rules of distribution and criteria based on log sheets from licenced broadcasters and the amount of money declared for distribution,” he said on X.

“But today, Kecobo says we should have paid using something they are calling the 70 per cent rule. Where exactly in the Copyright Act or any other law in Kenya does it talk of the 70 per cent rule?” he posed.

Regarding Kutuny's assertion that the royalty collection was inadequate, Mutua responded by stating that the primary revenue stream for Kenyan artists is Skiza tunes.

“Kecobo we should clean that one too,” he said.

“When MCSK administered Skiza Tunes (Ring back tunes) it once paid an individual artist over Sh20 million. Why is Kecobo focusing on the imaginary misappropriation of Sh56 million when proper payment of Skiza Tunes would change the whole scenario and make artists rich? Why the sideshows?” he asked.