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Itumbi rants over charges against Pauline Njoroge, calls for Jubilee blogger’s release

Dennis Itumbi, a renowned political blogger allied to President William Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza government, has blasted the Director of Public Prosecutions for arresting fellow political blogger, Pauline Njoroge.

Ms Njoroge is facing charges of computer misuse and cybercrimes, publication of false information and cyber harassments.

“Publishing on mainstream and on social media includes the right to make mistakes, to get it wrong. That is why media houses carry apologies on their pages after getting it wrong. It is okay in the business of publishing 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 said.

He also stated that even the right to insult is part of free speech.

“On this one, with utmost respect to the office of the DPP, I disagree. Ati cyber harassment – President William Samoei Ruto is not someone you can harass on social media. Haiwezekani!  (It’s impossible!). Nooo. This I disagree. I have been arrested and charged four times on this petty law and won. It is simply not the way to go. Apana! Free Pauline Njoroge and if you can, drop these charges. I chose silence till I saw the charge sheet!,”  he said.

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Itumbi and Njoroge were once on the same political side but the latter is now an opposition allied political blogger and influencer who has been vocal and critical of President William Ruto and his government.

Ms Njoroge was dramatically arrested last week in Watamu, Kilifi County, over claims that she was in possession of narcotics. She was arrested alongside Jane Nduta and their driver, Emanze Jilani.

Police said they found narcotic drugs in their car and in their hotel rooms, and they were taken to a police station.

On Monday afternoon, the three were produced in court after being denied access to family and lawyers, only to have the charge sheet reading something else and not possession of narcotics.

Also read: Uhuru’s long-term ‘bouncer’ Bill Arocho defects from Jubilee Party to Ruto’s UDA

Ms Njoroge has been charged with knowingly posting on her social media pages a message that reads:

“The massacre happening in Nyanza is heartbreaking. The images are painful to see. Men’s organs are being mutilated. Other forms of atrocities, crimes against humanity also happening especially in Nyalenda area. Why would the government persecute its people in such a manner? Why would it terrorize its own citizens?”

She published the post in reaction to alleged police brutality to opposition demonstrators in Kisumu County last week.

She was also charged with computer misuse over claims that the police were using vehicles with South Sudan number plates to raid the homes of innocent Kenyans as well as for publishing a phrase used to describe the Kenya Kwanza regime which is often said as “Naweka Bibilia chini nachukua bunduki na nikuwe dictator? (I put my Bible down and pick up a weapon to become a dictator?)” to discredit President Ruto’s reputation.

She is also facing charges of calling out President Ruto for stooping low.

The hashtag #FreePaulineNjoroge has been trending since she was arrested as people likened the Kenya Kwanza government to the late president Daniel Moi who often jailed and sometimes tortured his political opponents.

Also read: Itumbi shamed for ‘stealing’ comedian’s content to boost government’s image