Journalist Derrick Sinjela jailed 18 months

By Staff Reporter

THE Supreme Court has slapped Rainbow Newspaper editor-in-chief Derrick Sinjela with 18 months simple imprisonment for contempt of court.

Sinjela in August pleaded guilty of contempt of court over articles he published in his newspapers alleging corrupt activities in the manner in which Supreme Court judges presided over the appeal involving Savenda Management Services Limited which they decided in favour of Stanbic Bank.

Sinjela also put up a banner on Chikwa Road in Lusaka in which he alleged that Stanbic Bank was corrupt and bribed judges.

He further distributed free copies to the judges in order for them to see the articles in which he was alleging corruption.

However, in his explanation after he was asked to explain why he was publishing such articles, he conceded that he erred because it was a marketing strategy to sell the newspaper and apologised to the bench.

Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa sitting with justices Gregory Phiri, Evans Hamaundu, Roydah Kaoma and Nigel Mutuna said Sinjela was irresponsible and sensational in his reporting to the extent of distributing free copies and putting up huge banners which was aggravating.

The bench sentenced him to 18 months simple imprisonment with effect from December 20.

Last month, the court jailed Gregory Chifire six years on four counts of contempt of court but he did not show up on the day of the sentencing.