Robert Alai charged over false claims about coronavirus deaths in Mombasa

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Robert Alai charged over false claims about coronavirus deaths in Mombasa

Controversial blogger Robert Alai at the Milimani Law Courts on Monday, March 23, 2020. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

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Controversial blogger Robert Alai has been arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts for posting a tweet claiming that two people had died from the coronavirus in Mombasa.

Alai was arrested on Friday after the alarming tweet that came on the backdrop of a stern warning from the government cautioning the public against spreading unverified and misleading information on COVID-19.

The blogger was charged with publication of false information contrary to Section 23 of the computer misuse and cybercrimes act.

“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,” stated the charge sheet.

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He denied the charge and was released on a Ksh.50,000 cash bail or bond of Ksh.150,000 and directed to provide one contact person.

President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired a Cabinet meeting at State House, Nairobi on Thursday where it was directed that law enforcement agencies to pursue and arrest individuals spreading false information on the disease.

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