Blogger Arrested For Posting Inflammatory Statements

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NAIROBI, Jan 2 – Kenyan police have arrested a blogger over alleged inflammatory statements posted on his social media accounts. Allan Wadi Okengo was arrested on Wednesday in Uganda as he applied for Uganda citizenship under the name Alan Wadi Owiji.

The arrest comes barely a fortnight after another renowned blogger, Robert Alai, was arrested and charged with undermining the presidency by publishing personal contacts of the head of state.  Alai is currently out on a 200,000 shillings (about US$2,200) bail.

Social media have in the recent past been turned into a playground for ethnicity-fueled vitriol pitting Kenyans against one another.  In extreme cases, the tirades have been directed at the Executive based on ethnic background or political inclination. However, after the enactment of the Security Laws Amendment Act late last year, the trend is likely to change as security agencies tighten the noose around irresponsible social media use.

Okengo allegedly published inflammatory statements on social media calling on Kenyans to rise up against what he called an IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) president. An earlier arrest involved Seth Owuor who went under the pseudonym Disembe Dikembe. Presidential Service’s digital media director Dennis Itumbi said the new security law is not only targeting hate mongers but swindlers on social media using leaders’ names to execute their plans to defraud. 

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