West Pokot comedian and activist Dennis Ruto who is popularly known as Mulmulwas was arrested in Kapenguria over alleged hate speech on social media, against West Pokot Senator and Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio.
According to an article appearing in the Standard Online, Dennis Ruto was arrested and transferred to Nairobi last weekend and is being investigated over claims of cyber harassment under the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Law. Poghisio is said to have complained to the police that Dennis Ruto’s post was malicious and was a form of harassment to him.
The police claim that the comedian has been uncooperative and the investigation into the allegations is yet to yield into anything concrete, as he had deleted some of the posts he made. He is expected to be produced before the court where police will seek more time to hold him as they investigate his case.
According to the National Cohesion and Integration Act 2008, Hate Speech is threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, displays any written material or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, intended to stir up ethnic hatred. “Ethnic hatred” means hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins.
The comedian shot to fame in 2018 when West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo referred to him as “kijana fupi, round-Mulmulwas” during a public rally in Kapenguria. If found guilty, he could be liable to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.
It is unclear how the police will charge him, as he allegedly made remarks against Senator Poghisio and not an ethnic community.