Popular online blogger Robert Alai was arrested today in the morning by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and taken to the DCI headquarters for further questioning. This arrest comes at the wake of investigations into the alleged terror attack that left several police officers dead and one missing in Wajir. Kenyans took to Twitter with the hashtag #FreeAlai to demand justice and a clear explanation as to the reasons that led to the arrest of the blogger. He has been celebrated in the recent past as a voice of the common Mwananchi.
The arrest has been done just a day after Alai posted pictures that are believed to be pictures of the police officers who were killed in Wajir after their vehicle ran over an Improvised Explosive Device(IED). The incident left 8 police officers dead. Since the news broke, Al Shabaab millitants have constantly claimed responsibility of planting the explosives.
He posted questionable pictures that showed dead police officers being transported in a vehicle to an unidentified location. The NICC issued statements condemning his acts immediately after that. “Whereas Alai has the freedom of expression, such publications can be interpreted as propaganda for war which is not protected under the constitution,” stated NICC. They asked the blogger to pull down the pictures, which he did.
Alai in self defense said, “I will continue to speak out for the poor police officers who are neglected and their allowances taken by ‘wakubwa’. We must give our men and women who die wearing uniform, respect, dignity and honor they deserve. We shouldn’t treat our cops like dogs! I am angry!!!”
In the wake of all this, it is only questionable as to what motives are behind this arrest?