Blogger sent to prison in Safaricom suit

Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi in a Nairobi court on March 20, 2017. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU
Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi in a Nairobi court on March 20, 2017. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU 

Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi was Monday sentenced to four months in jail if he fails to pay a Sh300,000 fine as punishment for disobeying court orders.

High Court judge Lucy Njunguna issued the order after she cited Mr Nyakundi for contempt for missing court dates and continuing to publish stories about Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore and his predecessor Michael Joseph despite a court order. Mr Collymore and Mr Joseph had sued the blogger for defamation.

“The opinion that this court forms of Mr Nyakundi is of a person who has no respect of court orders ….the court will not condone deliberate disobedience of its orders and will not shy away from its responsibility to deal firmly with proved contemnors,” Justice Njuguna said.

The judge said that Mr Nyakundi had on several occasions failed to appear in court as required and defied orders barring him from publishing information considered defamatory about the Safaricom boss.

He was convicted of acting in contempt of court on December 1, 2016 and was ordered to appear in court on January 19 to defend himself before being sentenced.

Mr Collymore, had through his lawyer, complained that Mr Nyakundi was still posting defamatory information in total disregard of court orders although he was not present as required.

On January 31, Mr Nyakundi failed to appear in court but his lawyer requested for time to file a case document detailing his defence.

The court agreed to adjourn the matter to February 1 but Mr Nyakundi’s lawyer explained that her client could not be reached and requested for more time to be able to get in touch with him.

The same judge allowed Mr Nyakundi’s lawyer’s request to have the matter adjourned to February 8.