Controversial blogger Cyprian Nyakundi has been charged with multiple crimes relating to his online posts. The blogger was arrested on Wednesday 25th April and detained at Muthaiga police station.
His is alleged to have published published obscene information on electronic media contrary to the Kenya Information and Communication Act. On April 16th 2018, Nyakundi through his Twitter account, published various posts against Kirinyaga County Governor Ann Waiguru. The specific one he is being accused on calls the Governor a commercial sex worker.
Kirinyaga idiots voted for this commercial sex worker, hoping for radical transformation. What’s the difference between this malaya and Betty Kyallo who had Joho finance her new Spa? Malaya ni malaya. Only the degree’s vary. pic.twitter.com/ARvMU7hvWn
— Cyprian, Is Nyakundi (@C_NyaKundiH) April 16, 2018
Section 84D of KICA Act makes it an offence publishing of obscene information in electronic form. It reads
Any person who publishes or transmits or causes to be published in electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest and its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied therein, shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.
In another count, the blogger is charged with publishing false and alarming statement on Kenya Power Limited’s Chief Executive Ken Tarus contrary to section 66 of the Penal Code. The section reads;
Any person who publishes any false statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace is guilty of a misdemeanour.
Part two of the section adds that
It shall be a defence to a charge under subsection (1) if the accused proves that, prior to publication, he took such measures to verify the accuracy of the statement, rumour or report as to lead him reasonably to believe that it was true.
In another offence, the blogger was charged with ethnic contempt, contrary to section 62 (1) of the National Cohesion and Integration Act (NCIC Act). Section 62 (1) reads;
Any person who utters words intended to incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination against any person, group or community on the basis of ethnicity or race, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million shillings, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both.
Under the section, a newspaper, radio station or media enterprise that publishes the utterances commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding sh1 million.
In the fourth count, Cyprian Nyakundi is charged with hate speech under section 13 (1) of the NCIC Act. The section reads;
A person who—
(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material;
(b) publishes or distributes written material;
(c) presents or directs the performance the public performance of a play;
(d) distributes, shows or plays, a recording of visual images; or
(e) provides, produces or directs a programme,
which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up.
Under this section, a person found guilty shall be liable to a fine not exceeding sh1 million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.
The section defines ethnic hatred as hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins
Nyakundi was charged in a Kiambu Court.