The High Court in Nairobi has declared as unconstitutional a section of the law that criminalises defamation.
Effectively, the ruling will see the Fourth Estate and journalists score big against perennial gagging by government, government officials and prominent personalities seeking to suppress media freedom.
Justice John Mativo today ruled that Section 194 of the Penal Code violates the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Article 33 of the supreme law of the land.
Two people charged separately with criminal defamation had sued challenging that law. They sued Attorney-General Githu Muigai and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko while Article 19, an international freedom of expression advocate, was listed as an interested party in the case.
According to the judge, there is already an appropriate and satisfactory alternative remedy for defamation.