Kenya’s secretary to the cabinet Francis Kimemia yesterday took to the stand to testify against controversial blogger Robert Alai, who is facing criminal proceedings after posting allegedly defamatory comments on Twitter.
Kimemia told the court a Tweet by Alai claiming he was meeting the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Isaack Hassan, former police boss Hussein Ali and High Court judge Isaac Lenaola in a hotel in Karen on March 24 was meant to portray him in bad light.
He further denied having ever met the judge, saying the Tweet, coming hours ahead of a ruling on a case filed by the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) and its presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga over this year’s election results, was designed to influence the judgement.
“The Tweets caused public fear and implied that the people mentioned were trying to influence the outcome of the presidential election petition,” he said.
Kimemia told the court the Tweet, of which he was informed by his friends, had caused him embarrassment and annoyance and dented his credibility, especially at the time when he was the head of the transition authority.
He has promised to sue for defamation once the criminal suit is concluded.
Controversial blogger Alai is not new to allegations of offensive posts on social media, having been also accused by former Siaya governor aspirant William Oduol of posting an annoying Tweet.
Earlier this year he was issued with a notice by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission accusing him of spreading hate speech via social media.
Alai has used his social media following in the past to raise legal fees following a number of problems with the authorities over the use of his Twitter account.