The never ending harassment of bloggers and independent journalists by government operatives is back.
The Kenyan Artivist Blog head writer Roy Ogolla is the latest casualty of the CID headquarters’ oriented attacks and infringement of basic heights and obligations of Kenyans as outline in the constitution.
Mr. Ogolla prides himself as a Social Justice and Cultural Rights Activist best known for his hard hitting expose articles that most a time leave him in trouble with authorities, mostly in the Cultural circles.
Ogolla whose arrest early this year for exposing massive corruption and the misappropriation of public funds by the Kenya Film Commission has become the latest victim of police harassment.
A CID officer attached to the Cyber Crime Unit a Cpl. Kopocha Galwersi has been threatening the blogger with dire consequences and full wrath of the law after he (Roy Ogolla) refused to disclose his source of information following the Kenya Film Commission exposé.
The said Mr. Galwersi called Roy to avail himself to the CID Headquarters to record a statement as part of the investigations being carried out by the Kenya Film Commission on how he possible came in contact with the “classified” commission documents including board reports.
“The office called me to demand that I avail myself at the CID HQs to record a statement with them over the KFC saga. I informed him that since the matter was in court, it would only be logical and procedural if such orders are given through the courts and that he should get in touch with my lawyer to make a formal request… That is where the problems started.” Ogolla said.
“The officer has been calling me with threats of dealing with me the best way they know how for “thinking that I know the law” better than those who maintain it. At first, it was supposed to have been an arrest warrant being issued for me, now it is dealing with me as deemed fit.”
Ironically, this new spate of threats come only a day after Roy authored an article “Kalasha Awards: The Eminent Death of Kenya’s Grammys” pointing out the mess that marred the awards process and gala night held on 8th December.
Roy believes that the new developments are as a result of the recommendations he made in his article where he called upon the new chairperson of the board of directors of the commission, Mr. Chris Foot to rain on his management and the awards secretariat.
“It has everything to do with the article as well as an affidavit that I swore absolving any commission staff of blame that they leaked the information that I posted on my blog earlier… I’m certain beyond an doubt that the CEO of the commission is behind everything that is happening. Having failed to prove the case we had earlier, he has decided to drag me in a suit he is facing after being sued by his former Head of Finance for wrongful dismissal on allegations that he sent me the information… I’m not worried because I have reported he threats and my lawyer has the information. Just I case anything happens”
This is not the first time that bloggers in Kenya are facing up with authorities. Renowned and Controversial blogging duo of Robert Alai and Dennis Itumbi both have cases with the authorities for telling Kenyans what the authorities feel was not meant for the public.
In their bid to uphold the Right to Information as outlined in the constitution, bloggers are getting themselves in precarious positions as the authorities work day and night to clip their wings and curtail their freedom of expression and speech. The question is, for how long will this go on?? Who will stand up for these people as they work hard to keep Kenyans informed????