Cyber law takes bite at first victim

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

Journalist and blogger Daniel Kenosi has become the first known casualty of the cybercrime law that the law makers have been trying to put into effect. Kenosi, 24, was on Thursday charged for distributing pornographic or obscene material to his over 70 000 Facebook followers. Kenosi appears in court today on a follow-up of the case.

According to reports, “the particulars of the offence are that between 6th January 2015 and 12th March 2015 in Gaborone, Kenosi distributed obscene material to the public through a computer system. Inspector L. Kgosiemang of the Botswana Police Divisional Prosecutions Unit told the court on Friday that their investigations are still ongoing and as such pleaded to have Kenosi further remanded in custody.”

Kgosiemang gave the Magistrate a stack of A4 paper colour-photos that the investigators printed out from Kenosi’s gadgets and that will be used as evidence against Kenosi. He said investigators were still collecting more information from Kenosi’s electronic gadgets and needed more time.      

According to an input from the Attorney General Chambers posted in their Botswana e-Laws news site electronic traffic in pornographic or obscene material in this section entails: to distribute, transmit, disseminate, circulate, deliver, exhibit, lend for gain, exchange, barter, sell or offer for sale, let on hire or offer to let on hire, offer in any other way, or make available in any way, to have in possession or custody, or under control, for the purpose of doing an act referred to above, it also means  to print, photograph, copy or make in any other manner whether of the same or of a different kind of nature for the purpose of doing any act referred to in subparagraph (a).

As an extension, "child pornography" includes material that visually or otherwise depicts- (i) a child engaged in sexually explicit con (ii) a person who appears to be a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct; or (iii) realistic images representing a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. (c)  "child" means a person who is under the age of 14 years.

The latest arrest follows investigations on different matters. The police spokesperson Christopher Mbulawa confirmed the arrest and subsequent arraignment of Kenosi in the courts with regards to the cybercrime case. “He is in fact a suspect in a case of unlawful distribution of pornographic or obscene material contrary to section 16 of the Cybercrime and Computer Related Crimes Act,” said Mbulawa.

 

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