A Kenyan Blogger was arrested for allegedly contravening the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act of 2018. Silvance Adongo Abeta, who posts under the X handle @Wanjiku HSC under the name Karen Wanjiku was arrested by police attached to the Serious Crime Unit. The Serious Crime Unit is under the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Mr. Abeta is said to have posted information on his X account that is in violation of section 23 of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act no.5 of 2018. The blogger had posted “ “My NIS sources believe that the Nairobian Newspaper will be reporting confirmed bounty rumors about Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua AKA Riggy G wanting Ndindi Nyoro dead at a cost”.
It is this post that led to the blogger’s arrest on the on the 9th of September, 2023. Mr. Abeta was arrested within the Muthiga area in Kikuyu. The post was on an X account known as @WanjikuHSC under the name Karen Wanjiku HSC on the 3rd of September, 2023 at 2053hrs.
Furthermore, a statement from the DCI went on to allege that the blogger is a “notorious cyberbully”. In addition, the DCI claims the blogger publishes false information often bullying and harassing innocent Kenyans.
Mr. Abeta was detained at Muthaiga police station. He took a plea on the 11th of September at Milimani Law Court No. 5. The court has set the date for his case as the 26th of September 2023.
Nairobi Lawyer Arrested in July
The Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act has led to the arrest and charge of a number of Kenyans since it was signed into law. Earlier in July, a Nairobi lawyer was arraigned in court following a post on his X handle.
Mr. Joshua Otieno Ayika on the 16th of July, 2023 posted on his verified Twitter Account @ayika_joshua: “……I am not a prophet, neither am I a soothsayer but get it from me, in between Wednesday – Friday next week we might have the army taking over from this “Biblical Regime”. Prepare for an Army to take Over Government for the next 90 days then we shall have elections“
The prosecution claimed the words were prejudicial to the public order and security of Kenya. The lawyer is currently out on bail and awaits a court hearing.
When the Act was first signed, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) went to court seeking to suspend 26 sections of the act. They argued that it contravenes their rights and freedoms as prescribed in the constitution and will be used against bloggers and the media. However, the High court threw out the case.