President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO | FILEPresident Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO | FILE
By DAVID KWALIMWA

Fake news peddlers will now be liable to a Sh5 million fine or 2-year jail term, after President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday assented to the Computer and  Cyber crimes Bill, 2017.

The new law also stipulates hefty fines and lengthy prison terms for those found guilty of cyber bullying and spreading fake news.

It also targets journalists, media houses, social media users, bloggers and other internet users.

Clause 22 of the law states in part; “A person who intentionally publishes fake, misleading or fictitious data or misinforms with intent that the data shall be considered or acted upon as authentic with or without financial gain commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five million shillings or to imprisonment of a term not exceeding two years, or both.”

The assent comes amid calls for the President to revert the law back to Parliament to ensure its provisions are constitutional and do not violate the right to media freedom and expression.

“Kenyan legislatures have passed a wide ranging bill that will criminalise free speech with journalists and bloggers likely to be the first victims if signed into law,” said CPJ’s Africa Coordinator Angela Quintal in New York.

Following the President assent to the Bill, Kenyans took to social media to air their views. Here are a selected few:


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