The Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act and 23 other laws have been nullified for being passed without the Senate’s concurrence.
The judgement was on a case filed by the Senate against the National Assembly, claiming the that the Acts passed by the National Assembly were unconstitutional, null and void for violating Article 110 procedures, of the Constitution.
Judges Ngaah Jairus, Antony Ndungu and Mumbua T. Matheka, declared the laws unlawful, as the laws passed without the approval of the Upper house. The nullification has been suspended for 9 months to facilitate remedial measures.
In its petition, the Senate claimed that the National Assembly had violated Article 110 (3) of the Constitution by consistently passing laws which, in the Senate’s view, could only have been passed by both the National Assembly and the Senate. The senate further claims that it has faced challenges in the exercise of its mandate within the bicameral system of Parliament, particularly, with regard to the proper procedure to be followed in the disposal of Bills concerning Counties and Money Bills.
In May 2018 the Bloggers Association of Kenya Article 19 and the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) other interested parties sued the Attorney General, Speaker of the National Assembly, Inspector General of Police, and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). They challenged the constitutionality of 26 sections of the law, saying it impeded free speech.
The judgement was rendered on 2oth February 2020, and the case was dismissed by Justice James Makau, who found that the 26 sections of the computer misuse and cybercrimes law, constitutional therefore throwing out the case entirely. The Bloggers Association of Kenya, filed a notice of appeal the following day on 21st February 2020.
This development is a huge step in the fight for free speech in the country, as several Kenyans have been arrested and charged under the law.