Controversial blogger Cyprian Nyakundi was fined sh300, 000 for contempt of court over his posts on Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and Michael Joseph against a court order.
Justice Njuguna Mwihaki ruled that the blogger was guilty of disregarding court orders on several counts, something she said ‘the court cannot seat back’ with continued breach on the rule of law.
The plaintiffs, Bob Collymore and Michael Joseph sued Nyakundi for defamation. The blogger had called them corrupt and also overseeing a corrupt regime at the telecommunications giant, allegations they felt were untrue.
Nyakundi was supposed to appear in court in person for sentencing on two court dates but he did not. His lawyer argued that she was unable to trace him, only learning later that he was unwell. The blogger was arrested on Friday.
Anne Nderu, Nyakundi’s lawyer urged the court to pardon her client. She said “my client intends not to touch on any issue before the court in his blog or elsewhere”. But the plaintiffs’ lawyer Daniel Musyoka argued that the affidavit he filed on 15th January showed all the postings he made that were in contempt of the court order. He prayed for maximum sentence of six months because from his continuous contempt, he has not shown any remorseful.
In her ruling, the Judge said that Nyakundi “intentionally refused” to abide by the court order. She added that she had already warned him in September 2016 against his continuous contempt of the case and issues before the case.
While Nyakundi’s lawyer had requested for a pardon, citing that his client was not a flight risk and remorseful, the Judge dismissed the reasoning. She further dismissed her plea that the continuous posts he made were not directed at the two but at Safaricom.
“The court will not condone deliberate disregard for the law”, she ruled.
Cyprian Nyakundi was fined sh300, 000 or in default serves four months jail term. He however raised the money later in the day and was freed.