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Blogger Robert Alai arrested over social media postings

NAIROBI
By CYRUS OMBATI | Feb 5th 2015 | 2 min read

Nairobi, Kenya: Controversial blogger Robbert Alai was Thursday arrested over social media postings he made on the Langata Road Primary and Ruai land saga.

Alai was summoned to CID headquarters, Nairobi and reported before the deputy head of the Serious Crime Unit Harrison Meme, where he recorded a statement before being locked up at the Muthaiga Police station.

Meme said a businessman (name withheld) had complained Alai “wrongly linked him to the land” in a number of social media postings he made including Facebook, in the wake of the land saga.

“He will take plea on Friday because of the offence he committed on social media. He misused a telecommunication gadget and maligned the complainant,” said Meme.

The complaint was apparently made at the CID headquarters days after police had tear gassed pupils of the school and protesters who pushed for the reclaiming of the land.

Alai said he was summoned and later recorded a statement before he was informed he was under arrest.

“I don’t know how police come in such civil matters. If the complainant had an issue with what I said he would have faced me in court not use police to harass me,” said Alai as he was being locked up at the station.

This is not the first time that Alai is being held by police over his postings on social media.

Alai is among Kenya's most prominent and influential bloggers and attracts love and hate in equal measure.

In December 2014, he was charged with undermining the presidency, following a tweet he posted.

Alai who is a fierce government critic, called President Uhuru Kenyatta an "adolescent president".

He denied the charge and was released on bail but ordered not to post similar comments while investigations continue.

In 2012, he was arrested and questioned after the then government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua complained to CID saying Alai had been “peddling” rumours on the social media linking him to the killings of human rights activists Oscar Kingara and Paul Oulu.

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