On Thursday, the High Court of Kenya has honoured blogger Cyprian Nyakundi after it ruled out section 66 of the penal code.
Justice Weldon Korir declares Section 66 of the Penal Code unconstitutional after a petition by Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi. He said the section is a colonial-era law that has no place in modern society as it infringes on freedom of expression.
The code criminalises the publishing of ‘alarming publications’ that are likely to cause panic and fear.
The blogger who has severally found himself on the wrong side of the law filed the case.
The case had been filed by blogger Cyprian Nyakundi and it was ruled by Justice Weldon Korir.
Nyakundi Vs Victoria Bank
In March 2021, Justice Antony Mrima has ruled that the evidence obtained by the DCI for Nyakundi extortion case was done illegally and is therefore inadmissible before the court.
Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi had been charged with extortion relating to Sh17.5 million from Victoria Commercial Bank.
In what was a well-coordinated sting operation, it is now open knowledge that the DCI was in cahoots with a certain Indian director of Victoria Commercial Bank, local media stations, local journalists, and a drug-linked powerful person. That the DCI had managed to do their part in arresting the duo and planting evidence as revealed in Constitution Court Petition No. E284 of 2020.
Section 84D of the constitution
In July 2019, the High Court sitting in Nairobi has declared that section 84D of Kenya Information and Communication Act (KICA) as unconstitutional. The section of the law criminalized sharing vulgar information in electronic form.
The ruling was delivered by Justice Wilfrida Okwany and she said that the section is vague and limits freedom of expression.
Justice Okwany made the ruling in a case (Petition No. 214 of 2018) filed by blogger Cyprian Nyakundi through his lawyer Dudley Ochiel.
Cyprian filed the constitutional case after he was charged on April 16th 2018 for publishing, through his Twitter account, various updates mentioning Kirinyaga County Governor Ann Waiguru. The specific one he is being accused on called the Kirinyaga Governor a commercial sex worker. He was charged for various other criminal offenses.
After the court case, Cyprian and any other Kenyan cannot be charged in a court of law for content they publish on electronic platforms under the specific section of the KICA Act.
Section 84D of KICA Act made publishing of obscene information in electronic form an offence . It reads;
Any person who publishes or transmits or causes to be published in electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest and its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied therein, shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.