Directorate of Criminal Investigations Kenya has arrested a blogger Elijah Muthui Kitonyo for publishing misleading information on Twitter. The blogger was arrested in Mwingi on 15 March 2020.
Muthui who is an active Twitter user had posted this on his account:
“The government has lied to us…
The said lady is called Millicent Musau and she came yesterday from Rome boarded in this plane. I am a staff at KQ and I know what happened. Guys they are lying to us”
Upon the arrest,DCI posted this on their Facebook page:
“Elijah Muthui Kitonyo aged 23 years has been arrested in Mwingi for publishing misleading and alarming information on Corona virus.
He will be charged for publishing false information that is calculated or results in panic contrary to section 23 of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act of 2018.
We urge members of the public to be responsible and to desist from authoring, publishing or sharing unconfirmed information that may cause panic and anxiety”
If found guilty, Elijah will be sentenced to ten years in prison or get fined up to Ksh 5 million,or both.
Here is what the 2018 Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act of 2018 states:
“23. A person who knowingly publishes
information that is false in print, broadcast, data or over a computer system,
that is calculated or results in panic, chaos, or violence among citizens of
the Republic, or which is likely to discredit the reputation of a person
commits an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding
five million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or to both”
Last week the government had warned that whoever posts fake news on social media. They will be arrested and fined Ksh5 million. Muthui was the first casualty.