A 23-year-old man has been arrested with allegedly publishing false, misleading and alarming information on the Coronavirus on social media.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations, via its twitter account on March 15th, said that Elijah Muthui Kitonyo was arrested in Mwingi for publishing false information that was calculated and result in panic contrary to section 23 of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2018.
Elijah Muthui Kitonyo aged 23 years has been arrested in Mwingi for publishing misleading and alarming information on Corona virus.
He will be charged for publishing false information that is calculated or results in panic contrary to section 23 of the Computer Misuse…
— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) March 15, 2020
According to section 23 of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Law, 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.
Bloggers Association of Kenya had gone to court to challenge 26 sections of the Cybercrimes Law which contravened the constitution, such as freedom of expression, opinion and the media. They managed to get these 26 section suspended. In February 2020, Justice Makau threw out the whole case as he found the law valid and constitutional. The 26 sections that had previously been suspended were lifted.
BAKE, however, disagreed with the decision and filed a notice of appeal in February 21st 2020.