When passing the Computer and CyberCrimes Bill in the afternoon of April 26th, Members of Parliament were unanimous that the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government should host it.
Commenting on the floor of the House, Hon. Col (Rtd) Ali Rasso Dido, MP Saku Constituency, was emphatic that this is because “it involves prevention of crime and taking action on those who commit crime.”
The Computer and CyberCrimes Bill seeks to ensure crimes like child pornography, cyber-terrorism, fake news, financial crimes through computers and cyber harassment among others become a thing of the past.
In the debate on the Bill, led by Majority Leader Hon. Aden Duale were very pleased to have the Bill passed and the President assents to it in record time. While they wished that he signs it before he gives his State of the Nation Address last week, he has yet to do so.
“This Bill will deal with those people who create fake news”, said Hon. Duale as he urged Parliamentarians to enact it.
Duale added that Kenyans should use social media responsibly because it is a very integral part of the society when it is used responsibly. But those who fail to do so should be put behind bars or pay hefty fines. “This law will deal all the fraud that is taking place in the financial sector. This Bill will deal with all those who use technology to radicalize and recruit our youngsters into terrorism.”
While supporting the Bill, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa said he hoped the law will be implemented to guard the country’s social fabric. “I hope this law will not just be one of the laws that will exist in our statute books but it will be used to check degradation of our social fabric. Abuse of social media is destroying not just families but our children and the social fabric of our nation”, he noted.
Hon. Mohamed Mohamud noted that Kenya lost US$171 million, Tanzania lost US$85 million, and Uganda lost US$35 million all in cybercrimes hence the importance of the Bill to ensure these cases are investigated and prosecuted.
MPs felt that there has been an increase in irresponsibility by Kenyans online. They said there are those who run their businesses, families and get their daily food by using the social media platforms to create fear, extort, blackmail, stalk and destroy families. “We are giving the people of Kenya a piece of legislation today that will create harmony, stability and give us people to offer constructive and reasonable criticisms where it is needed”, Duale said.