Resident Pays Dearly for Allegedly Insulting Governor

  • Bomet Governor Dr Hillary Barchok. A court in Bomet on Tuesday, October 22 arraigned a man who allegedly insulted the governor on his Facebook account. File
  • Dominic Kiplagat, a Bomet resident who allegedly¬†insulted Governor Hillary Barchok on Tuesday, October 22, was released on a Ksh30,000 cash bail.

    Citizen Digital on Wednesday, October 23, reported that Kiplagat had been charged at a Bomet Court with two counts of undermining the authority of a public officer and publishing obscene information in electronic media.

    "On diverse dates between September 22, 2019, and October 14, 2019, in Bomet Central Sub-county within Bomet County without lawful excuse published on Facebook [a post] which aimed to defame a public officer," the charge sheet read.

    barchok
    Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok. He was sworn in on August 8, 2019, after the death of former Governor Joyce Laboso.

    Kiplagat was accused of posting obscene information contrary to section 84D of the Kenya Communications Act which cautioned against sending offensive publications.

    "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 act reads in part.

    DCI detectives from Bomet arrested Kiplagat on Monday, October 21, before he was arraigned in court on Tuesday, October 22.

    He was presented before Senior Resident Magistrate Kipkirui Kibelion but denied all the charges and pleaded not guilty.

    His lawyer, Geoffrey Kipngetich, revealed to the court that his client was an orphan and the sole breadwinner for his family.

    "My client lives within the jurisdiction of this court, he is not a flight risk and we are asking that you give reasonable bail or bond," Kipngetich disclosed.

    In a similar case blogger, Robert Alai noted that he had gone through the same scrutiny when he posted abusive messages directed to current Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on his Twitter account.

    In a charge sheet dated 2012, Alai showed that he was charged for being in violation of section 29(a) of the 1998 Kenya Communications Act.

    Barchok
    Barchok during his swearing-in ceremony in Bomet County on August 8, 2019.