Man who defamed MP on Facebook to pay him KES5 million
11 April 2016, 17:51
Nairobi - A man who defamed his MP on Facebook will be forced to pay him KES5 Million as damages, a Nairobi High Court judge has ruled.
Judge Mbogholi Msagha, sitting in Nairobi High Court delivered the landmark ruling that will definitely sent chills down the spines of Kenyans who use Social media and engage in fights with others.
Teso North MP Arthur Odera had moved to court in 2014 to sue the defendant Peter Ekisa who he accused of posting on Facebook information that was defamatory to his character and besmirched his reputation in the process.
He proved to the court that between the months of February and March, 2014 the defendant published information defamatory of him on that painted him as an unprincipled man, unprofessional, corrupt and has been misusing Uwezo Fund resources.
“The words were also in their natural meaning capable of being construed to mean the plaintiff was morally bankrupt, adulterous and a criminal..the defendant ought to have known that the plaintiff was not at all connected to any such allegations and that the false publication would cause the plaintiff to suffer distress and embarrassment,” reads part of the charge-sheet.
Justice Msagha while giving his judgment explained that a demand to the defendant to pull down the offending information and a notice of intention to sue was given to him, but he failed, to do so hence the filing of the suit.
“I have taken into consideration factors including the refusal by the defendant to apologize or pull down the offending words from the Facebook platform. I make an award of KES 2 million general damages, KES 1.5 Million exemplary damages and KES 1.5 Million aggravated damages making a total of KES5 million,” ruled the Judge.
Kenyans quickly took to Facebook to comment of the landmark judgment, with renowned lawyer Donald Kipkorir thanking Judge Msagha for the decision , noting that ruling will bring sanity online.
“Dear Kenyans on Facebook ... Know that abusing on Facebook will now cost you KES 5 million. Justice Mbogholo-Msagha of the High Court has held. So, before sending abuses, reflect on the cost. We can have rational debate without abuses. Thank you Mbogholi,” posted Kipkorir on his official Facebook page.
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