The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has directed the Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro to withdraw all criminal defamation cases with immediate effect. By the directive, online freedoms and all other freedoms can now be enjoyed without undue threat to the unconstitutional law being used against Kenyans.

In the letter, Tobiko told Mr. Muhoro that while his office is still reviewing the decision, all cases must be withdrawn. It reads “…I direct that all criminal cases that are pending before court wherein accused persons are charged under Section 194 of the Penal Code (i.e. offence of criminal libel) be withdrawn under section 87(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code.”

The DPP further directed that there should be no charges preferred against any person under the criminal defamation law “until and unless the said judgment has been reversed or set aside by an Appellate Court.”

The directive is a relief to bloggers and Kenyans online as the elections near. While it said that the DPP has appointed a team comprising of Senior Prosecutors to review the judgment and advise whether there are grounds to appeal against it, this move is progressive.

The letter to the DCI is copied to the Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai.