Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have arrested two people suspected of authoring a Facebook post claiming Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) battling Covid-19.
According to the DCI, the two, 33-year-old Isaac Kibet Yego — a freelance journalist — and 19-year-old Emanuel Kimutai Kosgei were arrested yesterday at Ngeria in Eldoret by Special Service Unit (SSU) and Crime Research & Intelligence Bureau(CRIB) officers.
During the operation, police confiscated a laptop and two mobile phones linked to the publication of the social media post from the suspects.
The suspects are being interrogated and are expected to be arraigned next week.
The police warned the general public against using social media platforms to publish misleading information.
“The DCI wishes to inform, urge and warn any person who, out of malice or sheer morbid hatred for another person, to desist from committing any act or attempt against the law as provided under the Communication Act that, ” said DCI.
33-Yr-Old Isaac Kibet Yego; a freelance journalist & 19-yr-old Emanuel Kimutai Kosgei were today arrested by @DCI_Kenya SSU and CR&IB Detectives at Ngeria in Eldoret being suspects of authoring and publishing False information about a senior government official. pic.twitter.com/pC5Bpo1xwd
— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) July 25, 2020
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.
Here are some of the reactions:
Matiangi needs to man up! You can't go for every barking dog on your way. pic.twitter.com/hPoRz53194
— Great (@JohnTheBabtiste) July 25, 2020
CS Matiangi has called on DCI to investigate his ICU admission claims. In other words, people might be arrested. But what is easier? Appearing & telling people you are okay or fighting to show you are? Matiangi is a public servant & I think the public has a right to worry.
— Juma G 🇰🇪 (@jumaf3_) July 25, 2020
There is a story of a lady at JKIA who got herself fired after she told CS Matiangi to queue like everybody else. Was this true?
— Juma G 🇰🇪 (@jumaf3_) July 25, 2020
Dr Fred Matiangi is a coward….how can he order someone to be arrested because they said he is in ICU…does he know what politician goes through even they're been killed through social media not only ICU. ??? Ati family wanapatwa na stress?? Nkt
Style up political pic.twitter.com/enKg9Hz86l
— Dr Boni Khalwale, CBS (@KBonimtetez) July 25, 2020
Used to think Matiangi is the greatest thing after sliced bread BUT seems power got to his head.
Anyway like for Matiangi and Retweet for sliced bread. pic.twitter.com/HwIN6l3Lh8
— Mekatilili Wa Menza (@wa_menza) July 25, 2020
Mr Ibu Matiangi stop being petty & discourage your boys from arresting Kenyans. You arresting someone coz he said you were sick? Nonsense!
— #Vladimir Put It In🇰🇪 (@SonOfKisumu) July 25, 2020
An employee at the JKIA airport was sacked for making Mr Ibu to queue.
Now 2 Kenyans have been arrested for posting about him. I personally don't like CS Matiang'i for real.
— Char-lee Oddie (@CharleeOddie1) July 25, 2020
Someone remind Matiangi we had very powerful individuals who thought the world belonged to them, but when they outlived their usefulness,the Government really fcvked 'em hard. Power is Temporary,enjoy while it lasts .Your day is coming
— DEDAN KIMANZI (@Kimanzi_Don) July 25, 2020
This is what happens power gets into your head. #Matiangi I wish you worked this hard to arrest real criminals e.g those who killed Kinei & Msando. Oh and while at it, arrest Babu Owino you know why! https://t.co/wdZNz6Y8dq
— Vincent Mosweta (@vincent_mosweta) July 26, 2020