Mnangagwa speaks on Baba Jukwa

HARARE - The Baba Jukwa scandal took centre stage in Parliament yesterday with Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa telling legislators that authorities will leave no stone unturned in unravelling the saga.

Mnangagwa was responding to a question by Kuwadzana East Member of Parliament, Nelson Chamisa who demanded to know whether any  senior government officials or ministers would be arrested over the issue.

Chamisa said:  “We read in the press about  weevils  and we have seen  the arrest  of  characters associated  with Baba Jukwa,” Chamisa said. “Are we are likely  to see the arresting of senior  government  officials  considering  that President Mugabe talked about it?”

Mnangagwa said the State would do all it could to unmask Baba Jukwa, a faceless Facebook character, who caused pandemonium in Zanu PF in the run-up to the 2013 elections by acting as a mole revealing the party’s “dark secrets”.

The popular Facebook page received more than 400 000 likes within a short space of time.

Mnangagwa said: “The President spoke about the weevils, that he will remove them, and indeed he is going to do that as he is man of words (sic) and does not make Minister speaks on Baba Jukwa empty statements.”

“On the matter of the arrest of senior government officials, we are a country which follows the law which has three arms — the executive, judiciary and legislature.

“We expect each arm to play its role and  we in the executive are watching it but we are not going to instruct police to arrest people but we can assure you that action shall happen over Baba Jukwa.”

This comes as High Court judge Justice Esther Muremba will today hear a bail application by Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi, who is accused of attempting to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government, banditry, insurgency, terrorism and sabotage.

The  editor’s bail hearing was last Friday postponed to today after the State, represented by Tawanda Zvekare, asked Justice Muremba that they needed time to go through the application.

“Applicant has filed a voluminous application and we need more time to go through it and file our response,” Zvekare said.

Kudzayi is represented by Everson Chatambudza who was not opposed to the postponement. Justice Muremba stood down the matter to today.

Kudzayi could face life imprisonment if convicted of the offences.

He is also accused of conniving with his older brother Phillip Tawanda, who was recently arrested on the same charges of attempting to overthrow the President Robert Mugabe regime in the run-up to last year’s harmonised elections.

Kudzayi has brushed aside terrorism charges preferred against him saying “what the police are claiming to have investigated they actually got it from myself as I supplied them with the relevant information through Assistant Commissioner (Crispen) Makedenge.”

“We went to see (ZRP Assistant Commissioner Makedenge) at Harare Central Police Station and explained to him the information we had in our possession and how it had come into our possession,” Kudzayi says in his bail application.

He said after the data was handed over to the police, the password to the Baba Jukwa email account was changed.

“I managed to regain access to the account using my mobile number since I had setup two step verification,” Kudzayi said.

“Security logs in the email showed the account had been accessed from multiple locations including The Netherlands and South Africa. It also revealed access by computers in Mutare, Bulawayo and Harare.

The State is opposing Kudzayi’s bail.

Assistant Commissioner Makedenge said: “Investigations are still in progress and with his technical expertise, the accused can easily interfere with the evidence: for example deleting and tampering with computer-related evidence.”

Kudzayi’s brother Phillip Tawanda’s lawyer Admire Rubaya said in his bail application lodged at the High Court on Tuesday that there was no direct evidence linking his client with either the alleged offences or the enigmatic Facebook character.

The State alleges that Phillip acquired an Econet mobile line and used it to create the email account babajukwa 2013@gmail.com, which subsequently was used to set up  the Facebook page.

But the defence says Phillip acquired the Econet line around June 10, 2013 while the Baba Jukwa account was live since March.

According to the State, Kudzayi and his accomplices allegedly planned and organised themselves to form what they termed  the “Gunda Nleya Brigade” as well as the  Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army with the aim to overthrow the government by waging a war.

The State also alleges that they had put in place a Dare Rechimurenga (War Council) to study the Zimbabwe situation during elections while also posting Facebook articles encouraging rebellion if the election was stolen.

On May 11 this year, the Sunday Mail published a story titled “Hackers unmask Baba Jukwa”.

However, police believe that Kudzayi was Baba Jukwa as he was in control of the Baba Jukwa gmail account.

On the second count, Kudzayi is being accused of publishing articles branding Mugabe a “dictator” in the full knowledge that the facts may not be accurate.

Zvekare said the article falsely labelled Mugabe a “dictator” and “tyrant” who committed gross human rights abuses.

The article, according to Zvekare, stated that Mugabe stole the 2008 elections and that he presided over the country’s economic collapse.

Kudzayi was also found with four rounds of ammunition at his home while another nine rounds were recovered at his office.

 

Comments (7)

Why is it only Chamisa who is always reported to have questioned Mnangagwa? Is he the shadow justice minister?

Galore 123 - 3 July 2014

He said after the data was handed over to the police, the password to the Baba Jukwa email account was changed.Security logs in the email showed the account had been accessed from multiple locations including The Netherlands and South Africa. It also revealed access by computers in Mutare, Bulawayo and Harare.

Hazvie - 3 July 2014

Please beware of a ploy to make people forget of the huge salary issue that has not been resolved by being hoodwinked into the baba jukwa scandal.People are slowly forgetting govt has not dealt with CEO salary issues of govt parastatals.Please open your eyes.

chira - 4 July 2014

i am realy suprised on how and why top stories are either on succession,salary gate scandals and baba jukwa yet the economy is going on its knees daily and no plans are said out. its funny for a parliament seating to report about a question on baba jukwa yet i assume there was real business to be discussed than spending time on historical issues which only look lyk witch hunt. cry my beloved Zimbabwe

buyingtime - 4 July 2014

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CHIREMBA - 4 July 2014

@Buyingtime. Is it not tragic that even opposition young legislators like Chamisa, who should know better, are themselves also swept away by this deflection on real important economic matters and concentrating in unmasking a useless internet character who peddles gossip and fairy tales about Zanu (pf.) Zimbabwe is really doomed to have politicians and a government that concentrates on trivialities when the country is ailing from economic neglect and abuse.

tafamutekwe - 4 July 2014

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five star - 9 July 2014

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