Kenya president rejects controversial IT worker bill News
DEMOSH, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Kenya president rejects controversial IT worker bill

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday declined to sign the controversial Information Communication Technology (ICT) practitioners bill into law. The bill seeks to have all ICT practitioners registered and licensed by a professional ICT body. Kenyatta made this decision at a ceremony where he signed 10 other parliamentary bills into law.

Kenyatta said that Clauses 24 and 25 of the ICT bill should be removed. The president remarked:

[Clause 24] prohibits an ICT practitioner firm from ICT practice if that person or firm has not obtained the annual practicing license. The licensing requirement imposes an undue barrier to entry into an ICT sector and places an unfair burden on ICT practitioners. For the foregoing reasons, I recommend that the Bill should be amended by deleting Clause 24.

According to Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of ICT Innovation and Youth Affairs, the ICT ministry is equally opposed to the bill. 

Over 15,000 people signed a petition urging the president to reject the bill, terming it as being retrogressive. This is because it required all ICT practitioners, including those with rudimentary abilities, to get licenses in order to operate. Furthermore, the bill established disciplinary actions and sanctions for individuals found in violation of its requirements.

Many locals have lauded the president for taking the bill back to parliament for further amendments.