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Economy

Hearing set to resume on computer ‘misuse’ law

James Makau
High Court Judge James Makau dismissed the case in March but LSK moved to the Court of Appeal. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A Bench of three judges will this morning hear an application seeking to suspend Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act, pending an appeal by Law Society of Kenya (LSK).

The LSK argues in the application that the appeal will be rendered useless if the orders being sought are not granted, because chances are that journalists, bloggers and whistleblowers will be arrested and prosecuted under the Act.

The LSK and Bloggers Association of Kenya have challenged the Act, arguing that it limits freedom of expression.

Two bloggers — Robert Alai and Cyprian Nyakundi have been charged under the Act and there is every indication that more might be arrested and charged under the Act, especially over violations of Covid-19 protocols, the lawyers said.

High Court Judge James Makau dismissed the case in March but LSK moved to the Court of Appeal, arguing that the Act creates several offences, which constitute and threaten the right to freedom of expression under Article 33, freedom of the media under Article 34 and right to access to information under Article 35.

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The LSK, through lawyer Dudley Ochiel, wants 15 sections of the Act declared unconstitutional and invalid. The appellate court certified the application as urgent and directed the matter to be heard on June 3.

In reply, Inspector General of Police, Hillary Mutyambai, said increased access to the internet and exposure to online risks and insecurity are pressing concerns.

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