Journalist and lawyer Wahome Thuku was yesterday arrested and booked at the Parliament police station for allegedly defaming Hon. Kabando wa Kabando, the Member of Parliament for Mukurweini constituency. On 1st of July 2015, Wahome is alleged to have posted on his Facebook account that Hon. Kabando went into a funeral drunk. The comment could have been made at the time when President Kenyatta had ordered MPs to lead efforts to weed out second generation brews in their constituencies.
Mr. Wahome Thuku was picked up by two officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations from the Standard Group’s offices at I&M Building.
Over the past two weeks, Kenyans have seen MPs lead youths in destroying legitimate and perhaps illegal businesses that sell alcohol. The implicit interpretation of the alleged assertion/Facebook post is that the MP lacks the integrity to lead such efforts since he has in the past shown wanting leadership.
Wahome’s lawyer Soyinka Lempaa also said that he was booked for misuse of licensed telecommunications equipment. It is this charge, which is under Section 29 of the Kenya Information and Communication (KICA) Act, which has also seen other online users like Robert Alai and Geoffrey Andare among others arrested and charged under the same charge.
Moreover, the police were not open as they undertook preliminary investigations on the issue before his arrest. Wahome was made aware that he is being investigated for alleged banking fraud.
Hon. Kabando declined to comment on the matter. He replied to a text message
“Sorry, regrets unavailable for such. Kind regards. God’s grace be with you.”
Looking through Wahome Thuku’s Facebook account, the alleged post is not there. He however comments regularly and openly on current affairs matters in the country.
Wahome is currently free and back to his work at the Standard Group and he is expected to report back to the police station on 30th of July for further direction on the matter. The police however retained his phone as exhibit and use it to further conduct investigations.