One of President William Ruto’s aides, digital strategist Dennis Itumbi has criticised the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over the arrest of opposition activist Nuru Okanga.
Okanga was charged on Thursday morning with insulting the president through his YouTube account. The activist, while appearing before Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina, denied the criminal charge and was released on a Sh10,000 cash bail.
According to the prosecution, the accused printed the abusive words on 20th November 2023. The court was told that the accused uttered words that are contrary to section 23 of the cyber crime Act.
Okanga’s arrest has attracted a lot of critism on social media with many arguing that the consitution gurantees freedom of speech and expression.
Among those who have come to Okanga’s defence in President Ruto’s aide Dennis Itumbi who has termed it as a waste of time.
“I completely disagree with the idea of arresting bloggers for insulting the president. Whoever is doing it wacheni kabisa,” said Itumbi.
“There actually exists a right to offend, shock, or disturb. I know for a fact that President William Ruto has serious stuff to do and is NOT interested in such drama and arrests, he does not even know about it. So who exactly is the complainant? Wachaneni na bloggers, wajiexpress! Tafuteni kazi ingine,” he said
In July, Itumbi also came to the defence of Jubilee party blogger Pauline Njoroge after she was arrested and taken to court on similar charges.
Taking to his Twitter account on July 24, Itumbi voiced his disagreement with the state, arguing that the right to publish on social media includes the possibility of making mistakes and sharing incorrect information.
He firmly believes that arresting someone for publishing fake news is not the solution and instead advocates for fact-checking to present the truth.
“Publishing on mainstream and on Social Media includes the right to make mistakes, to get it wrong. On Social media, Fake News cannot be cured by arresting anyone. The best way is to fact-check them and state the right position,” Itumbi wrote.