Police have been given two days to conclude investigations regarding the arrest of an Uasin Gishu county resident accused of being behind a fake Facebook post claiming Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i is in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) battling Covid-19.
Isaac Kibet was on Monday arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi and charged with publishing the social media claiming CS Matiang’i had contracted Covid-19.
The police had requested the court to allow them detain the suspect for 14 more days to conclude investigations in the cybercrime case.
The magistrate declined to grant the request which was opposed by the suspect’s lawyers.
The suspect, a 33-year-old a freelance journalist, was arrested on Saturday at Ngeria in Eldoret by Special Service Unit (SSU) and Crime Research & Intelligence Bureau(CRIB) officers.
A laptop and mobile phone linked to publication of the social media post by the suspect was recovered by police during the operation.
CS Matiang’i had on Friday dismissed claims that he had contracted Covid-19 as fake news peddled by “mentally deranged” people who are keen on distracting him from his job.
The CS said he had filed a complaint with the National Police Service to establish the source of the rumours.
“I have told the DCI and the Inspector General of Police and they are trying to investigate. We hope that we shall get to the bottom of the situation,” he said in an interview at his Harambee House office on Friday.
A section of Kenyans has, however, called out the government over the arrest saying the young people should be freed.
They argued that by virtue of Matiang’i being a public servant he should not take criticism personally.