Sharing vulgar content is now legal – court rules

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Following a ruling by the High Court on Wednesday, you can now publish vulgar content without being fined or jailed as was previously outlined in the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA).

This is after High Court judge, Justice Winfrida Okwany ruled that section 84D of the KICA is vague and a limitation to press freedom.

Section 84D initially prohibited the publication of content that is suggestive or offensive.

” Any person who publishes or transmits or causes to be published in electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest and its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied therein, shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both,” the section reads.

The ruling to make the above section unconstitutional was made after blogger Cyprian Nyakundi’s lawyer, Dudley Ochiel, filed a petition to outlaw it.

Ochiel filed the petition when Nyakundi was charged on April 16, 2018 after publishing content that three senior government officials found offensive. The state officials are: Interior and Coordination of National Security Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

“Specific attention [was] drawn to his posts where he allegedly called the Kirinyaga governor a ‘commercial sex worker’,” Nyakundi’s social media team said in a statement.

Nyakundi was also sued for alluding that the “Interior CS Fred Matiang’i had bought a house for a certain choir lady whom they worship together with in church.”

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