NAIROBI, Kenya, March 21 – Blogger Dennis Itumbi is a man from whom controversy is never far behind, “I wouldn’t say I stoke controversy, I’d say controversy follows me,” Itumbi said in an interview with Capital FM News on Thursday afternoon.
This assertion, Itumbi says, can be proved no better than by the events that took place before the interview, “No sooner was a case brought against me for hacking Jetlink airline emails dropped, than I was handed a letter from the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) saying they are investigating me.”
NCIC Chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia said they are investigating four bloggers for using hate speech on social media at a press briefing on Wednesday and it appears Itumbi is one of them.
The letter to Itumbi in part reads; “You have been posting threatening messages on your face book (sic) account which are intended to cause hatred/violence among communities in Kenya.”
Itumbi denies the accusation made by “A concerned Kenyan,” saying that he was presented with no evidence of the alleged hate speech.
“I asked the CID (Criminal Investigative Department) officers who presented me with the letter to tell me what exactly it is I’m accused of saying and they didn’t.”
The blogger now says that if he is to be tried, he would like a public hearing. “Let the public hear that I live and work with Kenyans from different ethnic communities.”
Itumbi was dubbed a hacker extraordinaire after being accused of hacking the International Criminal Court (ICC) website and tampering with the witness list to be used in the cases being brought against those accused of masterminding the violence that followed the 2007 general election.
This time, Itumbi says, he will not be unfairly accused without putting up a fight. “The ICC said they had nothing to do with the charges brought against me and so I am going to sue the Kenyan government for the arrest.”
“I hear people saying that I’m even the one who caused the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) electronic system malfunction but if I was that good don’t you think I would have hacked into the bank systems to line my pockets?”
Pulling out a Media Council of Kenya Code of Ethics from his pocket and holding it up, Itumbi insists that he is also innocent of the allegations the NCIC have made against him. “Instead of threatening arrest, they should work on educating bloggers on what is acceptable and what is not. I appeal to my fellow bloggers and Kenyans at large to show the same solidarity we had in protecting our honour against the insensitive remarks CNN and Botswana targeted at Kenyans.”
“Even now we are united in condemning the way the Harambee Stars are being treated in Nigeria. Why then do we cut each other down on social media?”