Political Researcher Cephas Mukuka has appealed to President Edgar Lungu to use his Constitutional powers and prerogatived to pardon Rainbow Newspaper editor-in-chief Derrick Sinjela.
The Supreme Court recently sentenced Sinjela to 18 months simple imprisonment for contempt of court.
But in a statement to News Diggers! Mukuka appealed to President Lungu to pardon Sinjela, saying the festive season was a season of love and forgiveness.
“I am, from the bottom of my heart, appealing to the republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to use his Constitutional powers and rights to pardon veteran journalist, Mr Derrick Sinjela. This appeal collides with the festive season which is the season of love and forgiveness. It’s a season of give and take. A wrong was committed, and whose wrong was equally admitted without wasting the courts time,” he stated.
“This is not to rubbish the court ruling and the judges who presided over the matter, but merely making an appeal to my President. Only President Lungu can save and pardon Sinjela. President Lungu personally pardoned a musician who was jailed for an offence of defilement. Society still needs the services of Sinjela. I have no doubt that our President will deal with this matter amicably without fail.”
Mukuka stated that his appeal was based on the fact that Sinjela had chosen to admit that he was wrong and had shown remorse for his actions.
“My grounds of appeal are based on the fact that Sinjela chose to admit that he was wrong and was remorseful for his actions. As a law abiding citizen he chose not to flee the nation, giving enough room to the authority to judge him positively as a responsible adult and citizen of this nation,” he stated.
Mukuka further stated that Sinjela had been instrumental in his works, adding that this was the period he could have been with his family.
“This country has witnessed, in the past, three renowned musicians who were given mercy by our courts on serious matters of ganja or dagga smoking. Reasons of pardon were that they had large followings and if sent to jail, the public was meant to loose out. Most recently a young student from the University of Zambia was caught with cannabis and sent to jail. I compared between a young promising intellectual versus musicians,” said Mukuka.
“Personally I expected the courts to have pardoned our young student so as to give him chance to repent and further graduate from University. Upon graduation, he would have contributed to national development in his area of specialty without fail. Sinjela, has been instrumental in his works. Having worked with him in the bank, ever jovial and helpful person. This is the period he could have been with his family.”