Edgar Obare, the blogger who stirred debate when he linked a media personality to a Dubai trip by Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho will on Monday appear in court to answer to charges.
Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and Governor Joho travelled to Dubai to check on former PM Raila Odinga who was in the hospital after undergoing an operation. The blogger claimed that the media personality was part of the entourage.
A photo of the two politicians inside a jet was published and went viral on social media. However, there was no image of the television celebrity who has since denied that she was part of the entourage.
Arrest and detention
Obare was arrested last Friday from his Kisumu residence and brought to Nairobi for questioning at the DCI headquarters. He has spent the weekend behind bars.
The blogger is expected to appear before a Nairobi court to answer to charges of unlawful disclosure of personal data. Police say the blogger published personal details of a woman who was not part of the entourage.
Obare becomes the latest blogger to be arrested by the DCI in what appears to be a systematic crackdown of bloggers by the state.
Last week, DCI officers from Nairobi arrested a freelance journalist who is alleged to have published false details about Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i's health status.
Isaac Kibet was released on Sh50,000 cash bail after he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Kibet appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi who also gave an option of Sh100, 000 bond with a surety of similar amount.
The magistrate directed Kibeti not to comment on the CS or the case on social media until the case is heard and determined. The freelance journalist and his friend were accused of posting on their social media pages that Matiangi was admitted to a Nairobi hospital with Covid-19 related complications.
Matiangi has since denied being sick or having been admitted to hospital.
The crackdown on bloggers has caused a storm on social media.
The DCI and Matiangi came under attack by social media users who were calling for the unconditional release of the bloggers.
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi lashed out at CS Fred Matiangi for the arrest of the two men. Sudi also called for the release of the two men who are being detained at Eldoret Central Police station.
“Some of us have gone through hell when it comes to fake news, we have never complained nor died because of it. Are you an angel not to tolerate fake news?” Sudi said on Facebook.
Kinoti said the DCI will arrest those breaching the Communication Act.
The act states:” A person who, by means of a licensed telecommunication system, sends a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or sends a message that he knows to be false for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another Commits a crime and will suffer punishment as provided by the law”