D-day for 'Baba Jukwa'

HARARE - The High Court will today hear the bail application by Edmund Kudzayi, the incarcerated editor of the State-controlled Sunday Mail, a day after his elder brother Phillip Tawanda, also in detention, was advised to approach the same court for his liberty.

Police arrested the 28-year-old “IT expert” on Thursday last week after mounting unprecedented raids at his home and his office at Herald House in the capital Harare.

Kudzayi was later charged with attempting to commit acts of insurgency, banditry, sabotage and terrorism, as well as engaging in subversive activities.

The charges, which carry a life sentence, follow accusations by the State that Kudzayi — who has sinced admitted that he is Amai Jukwa — is also the equally infamous and anonymous Facebook blogger, Baba Jukwa.

In his bail application filed at the High Court on Tuesday by his lawyer Admire Rubaya, Kudzayi rejected outright police findings that he is Baba Jukwa and made stunning revelations that he worked for both the police and the defence forces in their bid to hack into the Facebook account of the “real” Baba Jukwa.

While the State alleges that Kudzayi is the one behind Baba Jukwa, the rookie editor claims that he actually worked with government ministers Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and the ministry of Defence to expose the real Baba Jukwa.

The blog, by the purported mole within the ruling Zanu PF party, became popular in the run-up to the July 31, 2013 elections as it was famous for disclosing salacious party and government information, including allegations of assassination plots and corruption.

Kudzayi, who was appointed editor of the Sunday Mail in April this year, apparently with the “approval” of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo, was remanded in custody after his bail application was denied by the magistrates’ courts, which referred the case to the High Court.

Although his next remand hearing is scheduled for July 7, he will have a shot at bail when his matter is heard before the High Court today.

Meanwhile, Phillip, 29, who was allegedly on the run, handed himself to the police on Wednesday in the company of his lawyer Rubaya.

He is accused of conniving with his brother Edmund to create Facebook accounts amaijukwa@yahoo.com and babajukwa@yahoo.com, which were deemed subversive, in the run-up to the July 31 general elections.

And just like his brother, he is also charged with insurgency, terrorism, banditry and sabotage.

Harare magistrate Douglas Chikwekwe also referred Phillip’s bail application to the High Court, saying the lower court could not hear third schedule offences.

The matter was also remanded to July 7.

Prosecutor Tawanda Zvekare alleged that Phillip, Edmund and other accomplices who are still at large, created a gmail account called babajukwa2013@gmail.com using an Econet line registered to Philip, which line is being used by him.

The said gmail account was allegedly used to create a Facebook account called Baba Jukwa.

The two reportedly planned and organised with other accused persons, under the ambit of the ‘“Gunda Nleya Brigade” and Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army, to overthrow the government by waging war.

The State also says the accused allegedly posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which encouraged rebellion against the government if last year’s poll was stolen.

They also allegedly posted articles to the effect that they had a Dare Rechimurenga (a war council) in place and that a team was on the ground studying the situation in Zimbabwe.

The State claims Phillip opened an account with a local bank in which he accessed payments made by Zimbabwe Newspapers for Amai Jukwa, articles authored and published by Edmund.

Comments (3)

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felix - 27 June 2014

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