Kenyans who are “spreading rumors” about the deadly Coronavirus are being tracked by the government and will soon be arrested and prosecuted.
“It is criminal to spread such malicious and alarmist statements through social and digital channels,” said Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna.
Last week (Sunday), there was “breaking” information across online platforms that a positive case of the deadly Coronavirus had been reported at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
There are also rumors that there are people of the Chinese origin being treated of the virus in Kenya and that the government is hiding the information from the public.
“The fake and alarmist rumors have been forwarded to cybercrime unit and the DCI for investigation, arrest, and prosecution of the authors and those spreading the same,” said Oguna.
Those are likely to be arrested for “spreading” rumors about Coronavirus are likely to be charged under the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act that is now in force after the High Court declared it constitutional.
Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) had moved to court to question the constitutionality of the Act saying it infringed on people’s freedom of expression as provided in the Constitution of Kenya.
Those found guilty are likely to pay up to 5 million shillings, face a jail term of up to 2 years or face both. If the government will make real its threat, most bloggers and Twitter users will find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
The deadly Coronavirus has already killed 3,000 people and infected more than 90,000 others with China being the most affected country. The virus originated from the city of Wuhan in China.
So far, a total of five African countries have confirmed positive cases. They include; Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, and Senegal. The countries have only reported one case each.
The slow spread of Coronavirus in Africa is actually causing sleepless nights to experts in the Western world.