The Kenyan government has cautioned its citizens against spreading false news and alerts about coronavirus on social media.
In a statement on Monday, government spokesman Cyrus Oguna said the Cybercrime Unit and the DCI are tracking individuals who are sharing fake news.
“It is criminal to spread such malicious and alarmist statements through social and digital channels,” he said.
Oguna said perpetrators will be arrested and prosecuted, risking Ksh5 million fine or a two-year prison sentence in accordance with the Computer and Cyber Crimes Act.
“These fake and alarmist rumours have been forwarded to the cybercrime unit and DCI for investigation, arrest and prosecution of the authors and this spreading the same,” Oguna stated.
He noted that official communication on Covid-19 will come from the Cabinet Secretary for Health or the government spokesman or their appointed persons.
Oguna reiterated that there is no reported case of Covid-19 in the country.
The govt spokesperson spoke after a four-minute audio clip in which a government official announced a confirmed case at Mbagathi Hospital was leaked online Monday.
The Ministry of Health clarified that it was recorded during a simulation exercise by its employees in case of an outbreak.
“The audio being shared was part of a simulation exercise during the crisis communication training on Covid-19 in Machakos county over the weekend,” the Ministry said.