, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – The Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia on Thursday testified in a case in which blogger Robert Alai is facing criminal charges of tweeting offensive messages.
Kimemia told the court that Alai tweeted offensive messages on Twitter on March 24 this year alleging that he was in the company of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Issack Hassan, High Court judge Isaac Lenaola and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali at a hotel in Karen.
He informed the court that Alai’s tweet was posted few hours before the hearing of the presidential election petition that was filed after former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Coalition for Reforms and Democracy party disputed the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
According to the tweets implied that he was holding the meeting in order to influence the outcome of the petition.
“The tweets caused public fear and implied that the people mentioned were trying to influence the outcome of the presidential election petition.”
Kimemia told the court he learnt about the tweets after receiving messages and calls from friends and government officials who read them on Twitter.
He said he called the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Director Ndegwa Muhoro to inform him of the matter and also requested him to start investigations.
Explaining that he had never met Lenaola in person, Kimemia denied having been in such a meeting; “I know the judge as a public officer but personally I have never met him.”
In recognition of Alai’s big following on social media, he said the tweets were defamatory and embarrassed him and therefore told the court of his intention to also sue Alai for defamation.
Asked whether he would know if Alai was the author of the tweets Kimemia said; “police would be in a position to know that because personally I do not know him.”
Alai is being accused of causing annoyance to Kimemia.