Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki addressed the withdrawal of police escort for Collective Management Organisations (CMOs).
CMOs are private not-for-profit entities licensed to collect and distribute royalties for and among its members.
In Kenya, there are presently five main CMOs licensed by the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO), as mandated by the Copyright Act of Kenya.
The CMOs that have operated in Kenya include; Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Music Publishers Association of Kenya (MPAKE), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), The Reproduction Rights Society of Kenya (KOPIKEN) and Performance Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).
Speaking after a meeting with the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Sports and Culture on Thursday, September 28, 2023, Kindiki said he had been requested by KECOBO to restore police escorts for CMOs.
"The request by Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) on reinstatement of Police escort to Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) during their licensing enforcement operations is legitimate but must be implemented subject to a clear agreement on enforcement and operational protocol between the CMOs and the National Police Service," Kindiki said.
The Interior CS further disclosed that police withdrew escort for CMOs in 2020 to protect the image of authorities following a plethora of public complaints.
"The withdrawal of Police escort from the CMOs in 2020 was a decision made by the National Police Service to protect its image and informed by several complaints from members of the public among them, extortion by CMOs after making arrests, failure by the organisations to present arrested persons before courts and failure to present themselves as witnesses following arrests," Kindiki noted.
He further stated that before police escort for CMOs is restored there should be a clear operational order where officers in charge know their clear mandate.
"A Multi-agency operation should be preceded by a clear operational order that includes assigning responsibility to an officer in charge to enhance accountability. The National Police Service will enforce law and order, protect citizens' right to own tangible and intangible property, and apprehend criminals who violate these rights," Kindiki explained.
Some CMOs in the recent past have clashed with musicians over peanut pay.
In April 2023, several musicians took to social media to make jokes about the money paid to them as royalties by the Music Copyright Society Of Kenya (MCSK).
Sauti Sol lead singer Bien was the first to post his M-Pesa statement which shows that he was paid Ksh14,634 by MCSK.
Bien wondered what 'upcoming' musicians like Khaligraph Jones were paid if he could be paid a meagre Ksh14,634.
Stivo Simple Boy, while also commenting on Bien's post, revealed that he was paid Ksh3,000.