Blogger Nyakundi faces arrest over defamatory posts against Safaricom

There have been no investigations into the allegations of defamation. The accused skipped the hearing, hence the warrant of arrest issuance.

 

The warrant has been handed out for Nyakundi after he failed to appear before the court on Wednesday morning to answer to defamation lawsuit levelled against him by the telecommunication Company Safaricom Limited Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore.

Safaricom’s Bob Collymore and his predecessor Michael Joseph last year sued blogger Nyakundi for defamation over articles on his blog in which he alleged that Safaricom Limited was exploiting Kenyans.

There have been no investigations into the allegations. However, in mass numbers, Safaricom subscribers have been making complains about the speed with which the data bundles run out, prompting the service provider to run a paid for commercial to direct the clients to uncheck their subscription, which could be depleting the data.

In his presentation, Collymore’s lawyer ruled out any possible reason for the absenture of the accused. He said the blogger was active on social media by the time of the court session, downplaying the possibilities of the accused to be engaged on some other issues.

Earlier, the High Court gave Nyakundi seven days to present himself in court for sentencing. Justice Mwihaki Njuguna gave him one last chance and scheduled an appearance for Wednesday.

Disobeyed orders

The plaintiff, who is also the CEO of Safaricom Limited, sought an injunction to Nyakundi, and subsequently be prosecuted on a civil jail for having disobeyed a court order issued on July 18, 2016.

The court order had barred the accused from publishing defamatory articles on graft claims at the telecom without substantiated information to back up his articles.

In a series of articles published by the blogger, Safaricom Limited is painted as a company which does not care about its clients privacy, claiming the company had been “conning” Kenyans of their airtime and data bundles for surfing the internet, a claim the CEO termed unfortunate.

The court also heard that the blogger published articles touching on  the matters that were being addressed in court.

On his part, Nyakundi has refuted claims that he has been skipping court sessions.

"I would like to bring to your attention the fact that I have religiously attended court hearings, even when there were real threats to my life," he writes.

"Last year on September 13th, this year January 19th and January 31st, I sat in the same court-room presided over by the same judge. In the last two instances, she deferred and postponed her rulings with no logical explanation given," he added.

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