Popular and controversial media personality Daniel Kenosi cut a lone figure in the dock Friday afternoon as Village Magistrate granted an order to remand him in jail pending investigations into a case he has been charged with “unlawful┬á distribution of obscene material contrary to section 16 (2) (a) of Cybercrime and Related Crimes Act Cap 08:06”. Kenosi was brought to court on Friday after being incarcerated at the Central Police Station in Gaborone since Tuesday. On the fateful Tuesday, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Serious Crime Unit pounced on an unsuspecting Kenosi as he was leaving the Gaborone Magistrate Court where the Police Spokesperson Christopher Mbulawa says he was appearing for mention on two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and failure to stop and report an accident contrary to the Road Traffic Act. Apparently these offences were committed on September 28th 2014. The officers then took Kenosi to his house where they confiscated his electronic gadgets such as cellphones, laptop, memory sticks and writable CD’s.
Kenosi, 24, was on Thursday charged for distributing pornographic or obscene material to his over 70 000 Facebook followers. 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. He 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.
The Magistrate then ordered that Kenosi be remanded in custody until April 10 when he is expected to be brought back to Court for mention. As if that was not devastating enough for Kenosi, he was told that he was being whisked away to a Francistown jail where he will languish for the next two weeks until he comes for mention and a new order is granted either to extend the remand or grant him bail. Plain clothes officers immediately handcuffed him and shackled him with leg-irons as they accompanied him into the back of a private-registered CID van to start the five-hour long journey to Francistown. His pleas to see the Magistrate and ask to be given some time to sort out his rent payments were not entertained by the officers.
This writer also pleaded with the officers to at least pass by Kenosi’s house so he could change the clothes he had been wearing since he was arrested on Tuesday and perhaps pick some of his toiletry but they refused and nonetheless politely provided a plausible reason for their refusal to pass by Kenosi’s home: they feared for their safety and indeed that of Kenosi as they did not know who could be ambushing them at Kenosi’s home. The arrest has been a setback to Kenosi’s ambitions to establish a tabloid that was to make its debut in shelves this weekend under the name Paparazzi. Kenosi’s court appearance had been made somewhat secretive by law enforcement agents probably to make it low key and avoid a situation where by his legion of fans and haters alike would throng the court and compromise court security.┬á