Lawyer Danstan Omari Secures Leniency for Embarambamba in KFCB Defense

March 8, 2024

Gospel singer Christopher Mosioma alias Embarambamba is a much happier man after his lawyer and a group of leaders from the Kisii community stepped in to resolve his dispute with the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB).

Led by South Mugirango MP and National Assembly Majority Whip Silvanus Osoro, the politicians facilitated a meeting with MCSK’s Ezekiel Mutua and a representative from KFCB. During the meeting, they mutually agreed to eschew court proceedings and instead pursue the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) route.

Following the meeting, Osoro said they successfully persuaded KFCB and MCSK to show leniency towards Embarambamba. As a result, both parties committed to supporting the singer in the future.

Embarambamba had enlisted the services of popular city lawyer Danstan Omari to protest the demands of the Kenya Film Classification Board regarding his controversial music.

KFCB on Monday directed the singer to delete all indecent music videos uploaded on his YouTube channel and other social media platforms.

The Board also imposed a hefty Kes.6.4 million fine for alleged violations of Sections 4 (Part II) and 12 of the Cap 222 governing the creation, broadcasting, possession, distribution, and exhibition of audio-visual content in Kenya.

Interestingly, KFCB also instructed Embarambamba to submit all his music videos for examination and classification for age appropriateness. This directive raises questions about how the Board determined the fine without first assessing his music videos.

RELATED – Embarambamba Asks Kenyans for Help After KFCB Bans YouTube Catalog and Imposes Ksh6.4m Fine

In response, the musician wrote to the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), urging a reconsideration of its decision.

Lawyer Danstan Omari argued that Embarambamba’s songs had been unfairly singled out, citing discrimination. He contended that the decision to impose a penalty of Kes. 6.4 million is both “hostile and discriminatory.”

“While numerous musicians are using different combinations of words as an expression of their creativity in different contexts e.g Mali safi chito, it is not apparent why you have opted to single out and only call out our client for his use of the word ‘Niko Uchi’,” reads the letter.

Omari asserted that the KFCB decision was driven by bias and contempt towards his client. Embarambamba insisted that he is a minister of God, and his creative works are dedicated to spreading the Gospel and winning souls for God.

“One of the songs in issue ‘Niko Uchi’ forms part of his genius creations aimed at reaching the deaf who cannot hear his message but are nonetheless able to understand the message from the pictures and scenes of the song,” Omari said in the letter.

“It is thus shocking and bewildering that instead of celebrating our client’s creativity and genius ideas of ministry, you have resolved to discourage him and intimidate him by making very scandalous and unmerited demands.”

Omari stated that the letter from KFCB lacked precision, and exhibited hostility towards Embarambamba’s right to fair administrative action.

He pointed out that although the Board referenced over 1000 videos on Embarambamba’s YouTube channel, it failed to specify the particular videos in question.

The lawyer criticized KFCB for not seeking clarification, leading to what he termed as an administrative error.

Omari emphasized that KFCB has to safeguard the intellectual property rights of the people of Kenya and expressed regret that his client has been denied this respect.

“Our client is lost on where he should obtain the millions you demand yet you and other state organs have frustrated his God-given ability regardless of your constitutional obligation,” he said.

Wednesday Resolution

Following the Wednesday meeting, Omari said he had convinced KFCB to take the matter out of court.

The lawyer emphasized that if Embarambamba is removed from circulation, those who watch and appreciate his music may take legal action against KFCB and MCSK. He argued that artistes who make mistakes should be corrected rather than punished.

“The ban had caused a lot of problems to all the Kisii leadership, all the community was up in arms because Embarambamba is our brand in music, was now out of circulation. We decided to engage the entity in a manner that can resolve this dispute. We’ve agreed that this is a matter that we need to forge a relationship,” Omari said.

On his part, MCSK’s Mutua acknowledged the efforts made to find a resolution to the dispute. Mutua expressed the view that Embarambamba’s energy should be channeled in a positive direction, emphasizing the importance of using it for constructive purposes rather than creating content that may harm property or contain inappropriate material.

“We all reached to one conclusion, that it is possible to deal with this matter under ADR which is recognised by law so that we mentor Embarambamba, we look at the penalties that have been spelt out and see how we can help together and make this talent a more useful and responsible contributor to the development of our country,” Mutua said.

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