Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has revealed that plans to pay all artists’ royalties through eCitizen are in the works.
In a statement on Sunday night, the CS revealed that the government is spearheading amendments to the Copyright Act to create a government-run Collective Management Organisation.
If approved, artists will be able to track their royalty earnings through the centralised eCitizen platform.
“All music, copyrights, and royalties will be paid through eCitizen,” announced the CS.
Public Service CS Moses Kuria at a meeting on February 5, 2024
“Our artists will be individually registered. They can view online how much money is collected. 40 days of stealing from our artists are over.
Now, copyright royalties are collected and paid through the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), Kenya Association of Music Producers (KAMP), and the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).
For decades, artists registered to the associations have been complaining of poor yearly pay for their music and non-remittance of performing arts royalties.
MCSK, toward the end of January, announced that it had begun sending out music royalties to its members covering the 2023 financial year.
MCSK Chief Executive Ezekiel Mutua announced that a total of 16,000 members received Ksh20 million.
Rehema Lugose, an artist attached to Copy Bird Publishers, was the highest earner with Ksh757,092 followed by Reuben Kigame (Ksh122,410), Otile Brown (Ksh120,000), Praise Makena (Ksh110,000) and Marakwet Daughter (Ksh108,123).
Performers attached to PRISK had also lamented poor pay including Rapper Wangechi who only received Ksh1,215 for her music in 2021. RnB musician Nikita Kering’ only received Ksh1,215.
President William Ruto’s administration has been steadfast in centralising service delivery through eCitizen.
Most recently, the State directed all students attending national high schools to pay school fees through eCitizen.
The State explained that the directive was in line with President William Ruto’s plan to consolidate payments through a single pay bill number, 222,222.
The new directive, therefore, is expected to ensure prudent use of funds for the benefit of learners. Corrupt teachers and accountants have over the years been accused of presiding over wastage and creating imbalances on institutions’ balance sheets.
MCSK CEO, Ezekiel Mutua.