Blogger Robert Alai will today 23rd March appear before a court of law for allegedly publishing false information about the Coronavirus on his social media platform. If found guilty, Mr Alai could spend up to 10 years in jail for contravening section 23 of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act 2018.
Alai, who was arrested on Friday was held over the weekend at Muthaiga Police Station. According to his charge sheet, Mr Alai on the 19th day of March 2020 at an unknown place within the Republic of Kenya posted on his twitter account @robertalai tweeted, “Coronavirus: Is the Kenyan government hiding Covid-19 related deaths at the port of Mombasa,” knowing it to be false and calculated to cause panic and fear among citizens in the Republic of Kenya.
Section 23 of the contentious Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Law states A person who knowingly publishes information that is false in print, broadcast, data or over a computer system, that is calculated or results in panic, chaos, or violence among citizens of the Republic, or which is likely to discredit the reputation of a person commits an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or to both.
Even in his arrest Mr Alai has not ceased in calling the government to be transparent on the number of Coronavirus related death cases in the country.