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CYBERCRIME

Not wrong to take Uhuru, Raila photos

In Summary

• On the night of June 1, President Kenyatta and Raila Odinga visited road improvements in the CBD

• The next day pictures emerged on social media of the two leaders together in the CBD

Sarova Stanley hotel staffers Janet Magoma and Patrick Rading on June 17, 2020. They pleaded not guilty to charges of computer misuse and cybercrime after they released photos of President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the CBD two weeks ago.
Sarova Stanley hotel staffers Janet Magoma and Patrick Rading on June 17, 2020. They pleaded not guilty to charges of computer misuse and cybercrime after they released photos of President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the CBD two weeks ago.
Image: ENOS TECHE

Two weeks ago President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga visited the CBD at night to inspect improvements by Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

Pictures emerged of the two men together checking the lights on the streets and inspecting new pavements. Media coverage and social media comment was uniformly positive. The two leaders were praised for their personal involvement and commitment.

 

Now two IT officers at the Sarova Stanley have been charged under the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act for releasing photos on social media.

 
 

But what offence has been committed? Has anyone been injured? No, in fact, these images boosted the reputations of Uhuru and Raila.

Was there a security risk? No, the photos were only released the next day after Uhuru and Raila were long gone.

This unconstitutional prosecution represents an existential risk to freedom of expression in Kenya.

Today it is legal to take photos of people in public places. If this prosecution succeeds, it will become illegal to take photos of any public person in a public place. 

Kenya should continue to enjoy freedom of expression and media. This case should be thrown out.

Quote of the day: "Those who oppressed us described us as the Dark Continent!"

Thabo Mbeki
The South African president was born on June 18, 1942