Robert Alai Onyango got arrested yet again.
According to reports, Twitter pundit Robert Alai was arrested yet again after publishing images of terror attack victims on social media. Capital News reported, “Alai was arrested Tuesday morning (18.06.2019) by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), a day after Police Spokesman Charles Owino told journalists that action will be taken against him.” A statement from NCIC, a prominent government body made it clear that Alai had crossed the line with his reckless post.
The notorious blogger is known to stir up controversy with outlandish claims and salacious statements that he often shares on his social media account. With 1.2M followers on Twitter, the blogger’s post that featured some gruesome images of terror attack victims may have exposed security faults within the Kenyan force, while alarming and traumatizing family members of the victims. The attack which happened in Wajir last Saturday, claimed the lives of several within Kenya’s security forces, as three Police Reservists were kidnapped.
Yesterday (17.06.2019), the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) issued a statement condemning Alai’s actions, and accused him of glorifying terrorism – crime it said it is punishable by law as reported by Capital News.
Ok. I remove but I [email protected] to engage him because he is doing very little help boost the morale of our security officers.
— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) June 17, 2019
“The commission said the actions had a potential of “causing despondency amongst the country’s armed forces as well as negatively affect the families of the victims and the unity of the country. And though Alai “has the freedom of expression” such publications, the commission said, “can be interpreted as propaganda for war which is not protected under the Constitution of Kenya.” ”
However, it seems that not everyone seems to agree with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.
Since the images went public, there are several issues that have been raised online. Not only about Alai’s motives to publicize the terror attack, but also what the government might be hiding.
I know the biggest question they'll be asking Robert Alai is where he got the leaked photos from. On which the truth is right there in-front of everyone. The way those bodies of our police officers were ramshackle on those photos was wrong in all cylinder. #FreeRobertAlai
— Bobby VJ™ (@Bobbyvj) June 18, 2019
It is immoral and criminal for the government to transport bodies of dead officers like trash. There was no bodybags, not even bedsheets to cover their bodies. The question is, where are the 30 armoured vehicles President Uhuru Kenyatta posed with in 2017? @NziokaWaita @kdfinfo pic.twitter.com/N9afM8YUKa
— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) June 17, 2019
And as a hot debate ensues online, some have pointed out that there is a level of impunity within the military ranks. The resources to keep our borders safe may have been plundered and the safety of those who risk their lives to protect the republic might not be of concern.
— Annick (@AnnickFordin) June 18, 2019
Who's the criminal. @RobertAlai for exposing the plight of our exposed officers on duty or the government for not equipping border patrol with proper armoured personnel carriers? @MediaCouncilK @DCI_Kenya
— Ndungata ya Ngai (@Reke_Maarie) June 18, 2019
But whether you support Alai’s freedom of speech, it is clear that his post could have serious repercussions. One wise tweep @tenten48501158 noted, “Issues with concerns with National Security should strictly be left to those with full knowledge of their application, Alai went to the extreme of bringing out the worse of the Wajir incident ignoring the fact that this exercise is ongoing, risking the life of combat men in the field.”