President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday ordered the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) to probe the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) over graft allegations regarding royalties to local artistes.
The head of state was speaking at fallen Benga star John De’ Mathew’s burial in Gatanga.
He was referring to the recent royalties row between local artistes and the Content Management Organisation (CMO).
13,967 musicians received Sh2,500 plus withdrawal fee each , monies reportedly collected over two months from “public performance” of MCSK registered members’ content.
According to the copyright board, the amount distributed represented 68 per cent of the total income of Sh118 million jointly collected by three CMOs; Kenya Music Copyright Society, Performance Rights Society of Kenya and the Kenya Association of Music Producers.
This led to a barrage of attacks on social media led by rapper Khaligraph Jones and King Kaka.
President Kenyatta further ordered that the Kenya Copyrights Board (KeCOBO) be moved from the Attorney General’s office to the ministry of ICT.
He also asked that legislators fast track the copyrights bill. Broadcasters and telcos were also asked to pay artistes before their licenses are renewed.
In honour of De’ Mathew, the president ordered that Studio Mashinani is set up in Gatanga, where the deceased hailed from.
De’ Mathew died on Sunday in a grisly road accident near Blue Post hotel.
He put out at least 375 songs before his demise.