After Kenya’s president signed to law the contentious Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) was quick on its feet to file a lawsuit challenging the Act citing that it would be negatively used against bloggers and the media, which also contravenes their rights and fundamental freedoms as prescribed in the Kenyan constitution.
BAKE won a reprieve when Kenya’s High Court gave conservatory orders suspending twenty-two sections of the Act from coming into force. Now, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) through lawyer Waikwa Wanyoike wants to be enjoined in the suit, saying that the law puts the life of whistleblowers, bloggers and media practitioners on the line for simply doing their work.
“Section 14 targets whistleblowing and the reporting of corrupt activities despite the compelling public interest consideration under the Constitution, which encourages whistleblowing against corruption,” said Mr Wanyoike. The LSK also said that the law was vague and violates the right to a fair hearing as well as the public’ s right to information. LSK wants sections of the law declared unconstitutional and barred from being implemented.
“Since this matter is founded on common questions of fact and law like the ones raised in the case filed by bloggers, we seek consolidation of the matter in order to arrive at a just determination,” noted LSK.
The Kenya Union of Journalists and Article 19 – a media freedom lobby group are listed as interested parties in the case. One, Mr Geoffrey Maina had also filed a similar suit earlier.