Should We Now Prepare for a Standard-like Raid On Political Blogs Based Within Kenya?
The time has come for Kenyans and especially those who realize how important press freedom is, to stand up and be counted.
Shortly before 1 pm Kenyan time, today, former Nation crime editor Stephen Muiruri was picked up from his office by people who said they were policemen. They searched his office and took away some items with them. It will be interesting to see what the former Nation crime editor will be charged with but there is a very high likelihood that it will have something to do with the publishing of anonymous information about an alleged sex-for-promotion scandal within the Nation media group. If indeed this is going to be the sort of charge preferred against Muiruri, then every Kenyan must be deeply concerned and voice strong objection against the move.
Because recent positive developments on the web that have given Kenyans real press freedom for the first time and this is something that has really been worrying the powers that be. Through the Internet, Kenyans can now obtain information that the controlled media can never publish. For instance through this blog, many Kenyans have discovered for the first time, the real horror of crime in the country that has been kept well hidden from the public. The most recent example of this is the horrifying rape that took place during the hijacking of a Coastbus at Emali as it headed for Mombasa from Nairobi last Saturday night.
But what must have really scared the people who run things in Kenya is this exposing of sexual misadventures at the work place. Kenyans will remember the incident during the Kanu days when a young woman claimed that the then powerful Minister of State Julius Sunkili had forced her into sex right on the carpeted floor at the offices in the plush office of the president building. She even produced a child called Dennis whom she claimed was sired by the powerful Kanu minister.
The case of the former South African Vice president who admitted having sex with a woman who is HIV positive is even more recent.
You can be sure that these sort of things happen all the time in the offices of those who run things in Kenya. And you can imagine the kind of panic going on there now as web sites and blogs continue to expose things. And that includes this popular blog. This site has recently experienced an upsurge in traffic from strange IP addresses and you can be sure it is some of these powerful people wondering if they have been exposed yet. The truth is that they have reason to fear. I have received many emails in recent times detailing all sorts of sexual scandals in leading respected private companies in the country. It is only a matter of time before we start receiving such information from government offices of the high and mighty.
The arrest of Muiruri could be an ill-advised move to check these developments in press freedom, because the former Nation crime editor has been for a long time linked to the Nation anonymous writers who have exposed an alleged sex-for-promotion scandal that has shocked Kenyans. This is despite Muiruri vehemently denying the any involvement.
But even more worrying is the fact these blogs could prove to be very powerful forces in influencing public opinion and voting during the forthcoming general elections.
I will inform you of the latest on this development as I receive details.
Join me in condemning any attempt to harass or intimidate Stephen Muiruri and any other bloggers writing anything about the country from Kenya. If any of them are guilty of defamation than let those who have been wronged prove that the information is false and sue accordingly for damages (although the defematioon laws in the books are crazy and require offenders to pay sums like 20 million in damages).