Kenyans always take to social media to publish posts, mostly memes and hilarious content that depicts certain foreign leaders in bad light.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and USA President Donald Trump, especially during the campaigns, have received the most ‘negative’ posts on blogs and social media. These fake news comments, while mostly made for fun, could get one charged in court for defamation, depending with how the state views the post as injurious to the relations with Kenya. Alternatively, it could arise from a complaint from the foreign dignitary or President about a post that they find inaccurate.
Section 67 of the Penal Code reads;
Defamation of foreign princes
Any person who, without such justification or excuse as would be sufficient in the case of the defamation of a private person, publishes anything intended to be read, or any sign or visible representation, tending to degrade, revile or expose to hatred or contempt any foreign prince, potentate, ambassador or other foreign dignitary with intent to disturb peace and friendship between Kenya and the country to which such prince, potentate, ambassador or dignitary belongs is guilty of a misdemeanour.
Senior Prosecution Counsel at the Director of Public Prosecutions Duncan Ondimu while taking part of a training on internet and the law organized by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) reminded participants that while the country has made gains in removing clauses that limited freedom of expression, this section still exists.
A misdemeanour charge largely invites a maximum of two year sentence but it is at the discretion of a magistrate.