DCI arrest man for publishing misleading information on coronavirus

By Fay Ngina | Monday, Mar 16th 2020 at 08:59
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Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested a man for publishing misleading and alarming information on the deadly COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

23-year-old Elijah Muthui Kitonyo was arrested for alleging that the government has been lying to Kenyans over the first coronavirus case in the country.

Through his Twitter, Kitonyo alleged that he is a staff at the Kenyan Airways (KQ) and purported that the lady who was first diagnosed with the disease landed in the country from Rome, Italy, contrary to government reports.

“The govt has lied to us. The said lady is Millicent Musau and she came yesterday from Rome boarded in this plane... Am a staff at KQ and I know what happened. Guys they are lying to us,” posted Kitonyo.

According to the DCI, Kitonyo will be charged for publishing misleading information meant to cause panic contrary to section 23 of computer misuse and Cyber Crimes Act of 2018.

“A person who knowingly publishes information that is false in print, broadcast, data or over a computer system, that is calculated or results in panic, chaos, or violence among citizens of the Republic, or which is likely to discredit the reputation of a person commits an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or to both,” states the law.

The DCI further urged Kenyans to avoid publishing or sharing information that may cause unnecessary panic and anxiety to the public.

On Sunday March 15, President Uhuru Kenyatta during a press conference outside his Harambee House office, said that there are two cases of coronavirus in the country.

He said that out of the 27 people who were tested at the National Influenza Center, two more cases of coronavirus were confirmed as a result of coming into contact with the first patient.

“The first patient who was our case number one, I have been reliably informed regularly by the ministry that she is doing well and they are indeed looking after her.

"I want to assure all Kenyans that any patient who has come into contact with this disease will be given full support to ensure that they are able to recover.

"As we know, many across the globe have been infected but have also recovered. We are very hopeful with treatment, and we are learning every day. Those in our country who will come into contact with this disease, we are very hopeful and are working very hard to ensure their full recovery," said President Uhuru.

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