A court in the southeastern Kenyan town of Malindi has detained an administrator of a WhatsApp group over hate messages shared days after the elections in the East African country.
Japheth Mulewa, who is the admin for the unnamed WhatsApp group, is accused of sharing hate messages that threatened violence against a community in the town, the police said.
Police Constable James Muyes said in court on Wednesday that the respondent was arrested on Tuesday after a tip-off, local media portal Daily Nation said.
The judge, Yvone Khatambi, ordered Mulewa’s detention for further investigation.
We have experienced increased share of inflammatory messages on social media. Security agencies have been instructed to track and arrest the culprits. I can confirm that we have made some arrests.
He is also reported to be sought after by law enforcement agents in the coastal city of Mombasa for the same offence.
Two other WhatsApp group admins in Mombasa are wanted by police for sharing similar hate messages in their groups threatening to “butcher” a community.
Another WhatsApp group admin, Longton Jamil, was also arrested in Kajiado County for sending inappropriate messages through his group.
These arrests follow warnings by the Acting Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiangi last weekend when protests were held in Kisumu and Mathare against the election results.
Matiangi announced last Saturday the arrest of people who spread “inflammatory” messages on social media to create insecurities in the country.
“We have experienced increased share of inflammatory messages on social media. Security agencies have been instructed to track and arrest the culprits. I can confirm that we have made some arrests,” he said without indicating the number of people arrested.
Pockets of violence were witnessed in some few areas in Kenya after the elections on August 8 leaving at least 20 people dead.