The e-Citizen Connection: How KECOBO is masterminding data theft for private gain

It is now emerging that Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) is demanding data from Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) to profit private individuals.

CMOs registered in Kenya include Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) and Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP).

At its height, e-Citizen, the platform where Kenyans go to get govt digital services, was being looted to the tune of hundreds of millions.

The Paybill number attached to the portal was registered by private entities and not the govt.

The individuals that benefited from the broken system at e-Citizen were from Safaricom Plc, Goldrock, National Treasury and partly Webmasters Kenya.

KECOBO Executive Director Edward Sigei during a past function

They are powerful individuals that can subvert any law and create an atmosphere of injustice.

At the heart of the fight between KECOBO and one of the CMOs that has not remitted client’s data, is the search for control of data to be used to build a portal akin to e-Citizen, but for artists.

KECOBO executive director Edward Sigei wants the data to build a National Rights Registry (NRR). From the face value, that is not bad, but if you look beyond this, there’s a sinister motive.

The story of Goldrock owned by Sidney Ngunyi Wachira can give a hint of what CMOs under the NRR can be. Total theft and wanton bullying and poverty creation.

Sources told that the NRR was built by Liberty Africa, by Mr Sidney, the same person that was involved in the e-Citizen thefts under Goldrock.

Liberty, through Sidney, is looking at a windfall. If they succeed, they’ll be collecting a 2% fee from artistes and CMOs.

Mark you, government control of CMOs will be worse than what it is now.

Artistes have always been paid peanuts at the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK).

It appears that MCSK and Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK) have already submitted their client data and issued with a license to operate.

They’ve submitted their client’s data contrary to section to section 25 of the Data Protection Act which reads, “Every data controller or data processor shall ensure that personal data is processed in accordance with the right to privacy of the data subject.”

The head of PRISK is said to be very corrupt, but KECOBO has given them a license to operate.

As per our investigations, the two CMOs, MCSK and PRISK are still run badly, KAMP is the one that reformed.

The Liberty Africa and KECOBO deal for the building of NRR means that KECOBO wants to get them CMOs data. 

But why?

Sources intimate that the plan was and still is to take away CMO work and give it to “their guy” (read Sidney/Liberty Africa) to do CMO work.

That’s why KECOBO controls the licensing system and now has a data system.

According to intellectual property specialists, copyright is a private right and govt cannot take away such a right.

Read how e-citizen was run

Shadowy Goldrock Capital at the center of e-Citizen’s looting

READ: Shadowy Goldrock Capital at the center of e-Citizen’s looting


About the author

Karecha Kamaris

Karecha Kamaris is the space between earth and heaven, the gap between ice and fire, the elementary molecule that justifies unending peace in the sea of turmoil. An 'appetite for adventure over the love of ease'.

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