William Ruto
Deputy Kenyan President William Ruto addresses the media at a news conference at the Movenpick Hotel in the Hague October 15, 2013.Reuters

Most of Kenya's Members of Parliament have backed a bill that seeks to curtail how the media reports Parliamentary proceedings, a move that has been criticised as an attempt to gag the media. 

Most MPs supported the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill on Wednesday, while only a few chose to oppose it, Kenya's Daily Nation reported. 

The bill will bring about a penalty of Sh500,000 or a two-year jail term on any media organisation that "publishes false or scandalous libel on Parliament, its committees or proceedings".

The media will also have to procure permission from the chairman of a parliamentary committee before broadcasting any proceeding. 

Media's freedom will also be curtailed as the bill seeks to facilitate "the immunity of the Houses and committees and the freedom of speech and debate", the Kenyan media reported. 

Media organisations in Kenya have reportedly sought amendments to the bill, but the MP who moved the bill on Wednesday did not offer any undertaking, the report said. 

According to The Standard, Kenya has attempted to thwart media's freedom several times in the past. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta had signed the Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill into law in 2013 that had sought tough penalties on journalists under several offences, and then passed the Security Laws (amendment) 2014 as a law that proposes that the police has the right to approve publication or broadcasting of reportage related to investigations on terrorism.