The Supreme Court has convicted Rainbow Newspaper editor-in-chief Derrick Sinjela of Contempt of Court relating to the comments he made on the Savenda Vs Stanbic case.
Sinjela, as editor-in-chief of Rainbow Newspaper, published or caused to be published, an article titled “Zambian Supreme Court verdict in the Savenda vs Stanbic Bank is ‘questionable’ says COMESA, SADC journalist.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge and apologised to the court.
When the matter came up for sentencing before nine judges in the Supreme Court, led by Deputy Chief justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa, the court convicted Sinjela on his own admission.
Asked by justice Mwanamwambwa if he had anything to say before he could be sentenced, Sinjela asked the court to exercise leniency on him when passing a sentence.
He added that he had learnt his lesson.
“I know the gravity of my case and I have learnt my lesson. I pray that you be lenient,” he pleaded.
However, justice Mwanamwambwa tasked him to give reasons why the court should pity him adding that when the Savenda Vs Stanbic case was going on, Sinjela used to publish one sided stories in favour of Savenda.
He questioned whether Sinjela was the one writing those articles and if he was a qualified journalist.
“When the case was going on, you used to publish one sided stories, in favour of Savenda. You went to the extent of sending us free copies and even stuck posters and banners on trees. Can you give reasons why we should pity you! We have suspicions that those publications were done by someone else. Where are you trained? How long have you been practicing your journalism?” he asked.
In response, Sinjela said the articles were done by him and that he had been practicing journalism since 1999.
He added that he was trained at Nomagine College.
Justice Mwanamwambwa then adjourned the matter to November 28, this year, for sentencing.