Saturday, April 20, 2024

Supreme Court jails journalist and blogger, Derick Sinjela for contempt


Veteran journalist and blogger Derick Sinjela
Veteran journalist and blogger Derick Sinjela

The Supreme Court of Zambia has today jailed veteran journalist and blogger, Derick Sinjela for contempt. The Court handed over a custodial sentence for 18 months effectively today to Derrick Sinjela over his contempt case.

The Court sentenced Sinjela for his remarks over the Savenda Vs Stanbic case in which corruption and irregularity were alleged.

Sinjela will serve a simple imprisonment (without hard labour). The Supreme Court had cited for contempt Gregory Chifire, Bishop John Mambo and Chifire.

Last month, the Supreme Court convicted and also jailed civil society activist Gregory Chifire for six years.

And All People’s Congress Party president Nason Msoni has described the jailing of a journalist as a terrible indictment on the government.

Commenting on the sentencing of Derrick Sinjela the managing editor for Rainbow newspaper on contempt charges by the Supreme court, Msoni said the move was essentially an international matter which will haunt the state.

Msoni said it is shameful that the government now wants to silence citizens using the Constitutional Court.

“Jailing of Journalist Sinjela is shameful and troubling. It would appear that the court didn’t do an introspection on the Jailing of Mr Gregory Chifire.It is our considered view that an opportunity has yet been lost to do the right thing.This is a season of goodwill which should have compelled the court to exercise maximum leniency,” Msoni said in a statement.

“We are utterly sad by this decision and we think an opportunity to fix the international image of the country has yet again been lost. We condemn the jailing of a good man in the strongest terms and we appeal to our fraternal friends from the international Community to help secure the release of Mr Sinjela a seasoned practitioner of Journalism.Our hearts and sympathy go to his family and regret that he will not be with them during the festival season.”

He said there is urgent need to have judicial reforms.

“We think Judicial reforms are imperative to undertake in the circumstances given the apparent glaring errors of law and the misdirections.”


  1. Is it the court or government that has jailed Sinjela? Msoni grow up. …the case in question has nothing to do with government. Sinjela accused the judges of favor in making a ruling in a case between a bank and a private company so how does government come in? You expected a job from Lungu and seeing that job not forthcoming you have now resorted to uncoordinated accusations.

    • Govt is not only made up of the Executive but three arms; one of which is Judiciary.
      Civics bane!
      Mwalilabila kumo na ‘subject’, nga ifyamukati. Kkkk

    • Sinjela just go do the 1 year and a half on our behalf, maybe they will spare us for contempts. You will be out before 2021 man.
      I told Chifire to chosa nsapato, he maybe pardoned by humble ECL, but ena Godfrey abutukila ku Eswatini.

    • Ndanje Khakis …accusing the court of bias should not land someone in prison. In a democratic country, no institutions of government should be sacred. No institutions should be above criticism. Not even the judiciary. The judiciary is not made up of angels. It’s made up of human beings who have the potential to be corrupt too. For that reason, they shouldn’t be above criticism. Stiffing freedom of speech is characteristic of totalitarian states. This is totalitarianism being promoted by corrupt Lungu. And it’s stuff like this that will continue to tarnish the image of our country. What a shame.

    • 1.6 Please read properly. ..I haven’t supported the sentence. I am only correcting Nason Msoni. …whether the sentence has merit or not is not the issue. Nason is making it sound like the entire government sat down and decided to imprison Sonjela. He should have restricted himself to the courts. …oh he could end up giving company to Sinjela.

  2. No law stops citizens to criticize court decisions but insulting courts and accusing judges of corruption without proof is going too far. The constitution provides for appropriate avenues to complain against judges if one has evidence on corruption or other mischief. The avenue is through the JCC and no other. Do the right thing by going to JCC if you have evidence otherwise jele!

  3. Msoni, no one is above the law. The court will follow what a person has offended, not occupation. You will be the next victim if you are playing. If you were voted into office, I think the country can become lawlessness. Why should you chap criticize everything! No wonder we are saying we don’t have opposition in Zambia.
    Very bad for Mr. Sinjela and you learn in a harder way.

  4. This is the way you pf guys shall be Jailed. It is Just a matter of time . every thing has it’s own time .

  5. Who is this Msoni and who does he represent? I wander why people leading parties with no members are now speaking loudest. No wander the saying ‘Empty tins make the loudest noise’.Why always accuse the government even where you know very well that it’s not the government but the courts of law doing their job professionally. Msoni should not accuse the government foolishly when the court cites him for contempt.

  6. Criticise with facts. Provide evidence to prove a point. Derick apologised and asked for forgiveness so what is Msoni saying?

  7. Msoni must be very careful. He shouldn’t play games with the courts.

    Jele ain’t far from him if he continues talking anyhow

  8. Foolishness can not be ignored just because a journalist is involved. No one is above the law …and by the way the Judiciary is independent.

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