More than one year ago, the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) questioned some clauses of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018. BAKE sought the help of the courts, and a few days ago, the case was decided, only that the ruling wasn’t in its favour.
High Court Judge Mr. Justice James A. Makau dismissed the case because he was convinced that the law was valid in its entirety and that the 26 suspended sections of the Cybercrimes Law that BAKE wanted to be edited were constitutional.
The law, which is already in practice, now exercises the definitions of the 26 sections that were put in a hold while the case was being deliberated.
Nevertheless, BAKE still disagrees with the decision, and is worried about the sections that it thinks are unconstitutional and infringe on the freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, freedom of the media and right to privacy.
“It is important to BAKE that the country has laws that respect the freedom of the media, freedom of expression and that are in line with our great constitution. We will do all we can to ensure that our members and the media fraternity have a safe space to express their views freely,” said BAKE Chairman, Mr. Kennedy Kachwanya.
To this end, BAKE is challenging the decision and has already launched an appeal process by filing a Notice of Appeal which it did on 21st February 2020.
To further reflect on the journey of the sections, in May 2018, Justice Chacha Mwita suspended 22 sections of the law. In October 2918, Justice Winfrida Okwany dismissed the prayers of the government to have the law enforced and said the orders issued by Justice Mwita were justified.
A section of the clauses discussed fraudulent use of electronic data, cybersquatting, intentional publishing of false or misleading data, interception of content data and a provision on child pornography among others.
The suspension was still in place until Feb 21 2020 when Justice Makau threw out the case.