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Blogger Nyakundi found in contempt of court over Collymore article

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Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi in a Nairobi court on Dec 1, 2016. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU

Controversial blogger Cyprian Nyakundi has been found in contempt of court for writing an offending article about Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore on his website in violation of a court order.

Justice Lucy Njuguna Thursday ruled that an article Mr Nyakundi posted on his website visibly described Mr Collymore, despite not mentioning his name.

The judge ruled that the action was in violation of an order earlier issued barring the blogger from publishing offending words about the Safaricom CEO.

Mr Nyakundi was ordered to appear in court on January 19 for directions as to whether he will be jailed, fined or released.

“Although Mr Nyakundi contends that he did not mention Mr Collymore in the article, it is clear that it has nexus to Mr Collymore in relation to the matter before court,” states Justice Njuguna in her ruling.

“He therefore ought to have kept off commenting on the media.” The suit was filed by Mr Collymore and his predecessor Michael Joseph.

Mr Nyakundi argued that he was not furnished with a copy of the court order barring him from publishing offending material about Mr Collymore and Mr Joseph, as required by the law.

READ: Collymore, Joseph get order against blogger

But Justice Njuguna ruled that the blogger’s lawyers were present in court when the order was issued hence he could be held in contempt of court for violating the judge’s directions.

“In this case, the orders were made in the presence of Mr Nyakundi’s advocates and therefore suffices as service,” Justice Njuguna ruled, adding the order was binding and anyone with difficulty understanding them should ask the court for interpretation.

“In the circumstances, he is found in contempt. The court shall mention the matter on January 19 when Mr Nyakundi shall be required to attend court.”

Mr Collymore held that the blogger refused to retract the offending article and issue an apology despite demands to that end.

Mr Collymore in his application says he fears Mr Nyakundi will continue writing offending articles about him if the judge does not punish him for violating the order.

The blogger is also fighting a separate suit filed by Safaricom, in which the telco wants him jailed for defying a court order barring him from linking the telco to corruption on his website and social media pages.

Mr Nyakundi, in the suit, claims he has evidence to back up the stories linking the telco to corruption.