That man Ezekiel Mutua, the director of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), is still championing the ban on Wanuri Kahiu’s feature film, Rafiki.
During the hearing of a case in which the gay-themed film’s director is contesting the constitutionality of the ban, the ‘morality cop’ Mr Mutua opposed a request to have the film played in Court before a determination in the case is made.
Ms Wanuri had requested for audio-visual equipment to be availed for airing of the film about two young women who have fallen in love.
“We kindly write this letter to request for audio-visual equipment to enable us to play the ‘Rafiki’ film at the hearing, the matter is coming on April 4, your quick response will be highly appreciated,” read a letter presented by the director’s lawyers Mugeria, Lempaa and Kariuki advocates in February this year.
But according to KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua, it is not necessary for the court to watch ‘Rafiki’ for the determination of the constitutionality of the films Act.
In submissions in court, Mutua argues that Wanuri Kahiu had failed to produce a certificate in court for an electronic material to be played in court as evidence.
The Board, through their lawyers from the firm of Sisule Musungu & Associates Advocates, argue that, “The Evidence Act lays down the conditions which must be met before electronic records can be declared admissible. Petitioners have not satisfied any of the conditions stipulated by the Evidence Act in relation to production of electronic records as evidence before the court. The film we assume shall be presented in some electronic format for exhibition before court.”
The lawyers added, “Whereas the petitioners make this application orally at such an advanced stage of the proceedings without leave from court and further without a certificate as provided under Section 106 (B)(4) the same is opposed as the evidence is inadmissible.”
Ms Wanuri is contesting Mutua’s ban on April 26, last year, on grounds that it is a violation of freedom of expression.
“I fear that the Act and guidelines under which the film was banned are a threat to free speech and media freedom. The decision to restrict the film was arbitrary, unconstitutional and a violation of my right to freedom of expression which includes freedom of artistic creativity,” said the director.