All people’s Congress President Nason Msoni says the incarceration of Rainbow Newspaper Chief Editor Derrick Sinjela for 18 months was rather too harsh a decision to be accepted as a deterrent punishment.
Mr. Msoni said this is also true for any other would be future offenders who will find themselves in a similar circumstance.
And Mr. Msoni thinks the steep punishment mated out on Mr. Sinjela represents the extent of the elevated levels of political intolerance in the country against a vibrant free press.
He said the punishment slapped on the veteran journalist rather appears to take the form and veil of vengeance and retribution in every sense and expressed concern about his welfare particularly under the abhorrent and horrific conditions obtaining in Zambian Correctional Facilities.
Mr. Msoni said the recent reported health scare incident involving Mr. Sinjela requiring him to receive emergency treatment explains his current predicament and vulnerability whilst he remains in incarceration.
He said Mr. Sinjela deserves a reprieve at the earliest opportunity considering his current extenuating circumstances.
Mr. Msoni said a Presidential pardon in the circumstance could well serve the purpose for the marooned veteran journalist languishing in an extremely unsanitary environment.
On 20th December 2018, the Supreme Court jailed Mr. Sinjela to 18 months imprisonment for contempt of court following his comments on the judgment in the case between Stanbic Bank Zambia and Savenda Management Services Limited.