Controversial Kenyan blogger Robert Alai has been arraigned in court for allegedly publishing fake information about the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Alai, who appeared before Nairobi Resident Magistrate Muema Ndungi on Monday, was charged with publishing false information contrary to section 23 of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act.
In a tweet last week, Alai accused the government of hiding the truth from Kenyans, saying that two people had died of Covid-19 in Mombasa.
“On the 19th day of March 2020 at an unknown place within the Republic of Kenya, posted on your twitter account @RobertAlai to wit “Coronavirus: Is the Kenyan government hiding COVID-19 related deaths at the Port of Mombasa” knowing it to be false and calculated to cause panic and fears among citizens of the Republic of Kenya,” the charge sheet read.
Alai, who was arrested on Friday and spent the weekend in Muthaiga Police Station, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was freed on a cash bail of Sh50,000 cash bail or bond of Sh150,000.
While releasing him on bail, Magistrate Ndugi warned the accused against publishing on social media any content touching on Covid-19 failure to which his bond terms will be canceled.
The case will be mentioned on April 23rd, 2020.
Last week, President Uhuru directed police to pursue and arrest individuals spreading false and alarming information on the illness.