Blogger in CS Matiang’i false hospitalisation freed on bail
Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi
A blogger was yesterday charged with publishing false information on social media against Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
Isaac Kibet appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Benard Ochoi and denied knowingly publishing false information on a domain namely dailystar.co.ke and Facebook account that Matiang’i had been admitted at a hospital having contracted coronavirus.
The court heard that Kibet claimed that Matiang’i was admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit battling Covid-19 and that he was among three Cabinet Secretaries who had contracted the deadly disease.
“He has been missing from President Uhuru key events. Various sources intimated to Daily Star that Matiang’i was admitted at the facility after his health deteriorated at his home where he was under self-quarantine,” Kibet had allegedly posted.
According to the prosecution, the blogger posted the information knowing it to be false and calculated to cause fear and panic to the CS and his family.
The court heard that the offence was committed between July 23 and 24, 2020, at unknown place in the country.
His lawyer Collins Kiprono pleaded for lenient bond terms on grounds that the accused was from a humble background and recently graduated from Kenyatta University with no job.
“He is a poor journalist having not secured a job. He, however, has a fixed abode and has cooperated with the investigating officers and will not interfere with witnesses,” Kiprono told the court.
“Noting hard economic times due to Covid-19, kindly give my client lenient bail so that he can be able to attend court”, he added.
Magistrate Ochoi released him on a cash bail of Sh50,000 or a bond of Sh100,000.
He further warned the accused not to mention about the case on any social media platform, with the case set for mentioned on August 12.
Kibet had been detained for two days before being charged to allow the police conclude investigations.