The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has announced that it has arrested the first suspect to be charged with the newly reinstated draconian law, the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act of 2019 over sharing fake news involving coronavirus.
“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.”, DCI posted on their page.
Last month, the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) lost a case challenging the constitutionality of the Act. High Court Judge James Makau while delivering a verdict stated that the 26 suspended sections of the Act were constitutional.
The mainstream media had celebrated the move seeing it as a final and good attempt at fixing and shutting down bloggers for once so that their revenues are kept intact. However, experts warned that the law is bad for both bloggers and mainstream media.
‘With the new arrest, Kenya is sure sinking into an abyss of silence when freedom of expression is muzzled’, wrote a social media user.
The DCI ended their post with a warning, ‘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’
Kenya has confirmed 3 cases of covid-19. The virus has killed over 6000 people worldwide and infected hundreds of thousands more.
Over 70k people have recovered from it