'Baba Jukwa' freed on bail

HARARE - Incarcerated Sunday Mail editor who is accused of being Baba Jukwa , Edmund Kudzayi, was finally freed yesterday by the courts, on stringent bail conditions.

He was ordered by High Court Judge Joseph Musakwa to pay $5 000 bail, and to surrender the Baba Jukwa gmail password that he possesses as part of his stringent bail conditions that also include surrendering his passport and family home title deeds.

The State did not oppose the 28-year-old’s bail application.

In addition, Kudzayi was also ordered to pay $200 dollars for the lesser charge of possessing ammunition that he faced.

“Bail has been granted in terms of the recast order,” ruled Musakwa.

Kudzayi, who is accused of banditry, attempting to overthrow a constitutionally-elected government, insurgency, terrorism and sabotage, has been languishing in remand prison for more than a week.

If convicted he could face life imprisonment.

Although the State, represented by Tawanda Zvekare, had no objection to the granting of bail, it pushed for strict conditions for Kudzayi’s release.

“The State has carefully considered the submissions of the defence on the question of bail,” Zvekare said.

“Suffice to say, that in arriving at the decision as to whether or not the applicant should be admitted to bail, this honourable court must strike a balance between the need to safeguard the liberty of the applicant and the need to safeguard the efficient administration of justice.

“In this instance, although the applicant is a flight risk since he is well connected with the outside world, having lived and worked in the United Kingdom for a very long time, and is facing very serious charges, which should applicant be convicted he is likely to face a lengthy period of imprisonment, it is conceded that the bail conditions proposed by the defence may allay the fears of the State that applicant will not stand his trial or that he may interfere with witnesses, investigations or evidence against him and his accomplices, most of whom are still to be accounted for,” Zvekare added.

Musakwa also ordered Kudzayi to report twice every day at Harare Central Police Station, CID Law and Order Section between 0600hrs and 1000hrs in the morning and between 1500hrs and 1800hrs in the afternoon.

Kudzayi, who has since admitted to being Amai Jukwa, was also ordered to reside at his given address, and not to leave the 40km radius from Harare Main Post Office without the leave of the court, as well as not to interfere with witnesses, investigations or evidence against him and to surrender the password to the emailbabajukwa2013@gmail.com to assistant commissioner Crispen Makedenge who is the investigating officer.

Kudzayi is being represented by Admire Rubaya.

His brother Phillip, who is facing the same charges, will appear in court today for his bail hearing after Zvekare said he had filed a voluminous record which the State needed to peruse carefully before responding.

The State argues that a gmail account babajukwa2013@gmail.com was registered using  Philip’s mobile number before the creation of the Baba Jukwa Facebook account.

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.

This is despite the fact that on May 11 this year, the Sunday Mail published a story titled “Hackers unmask Baba Jukwa”.

However, police believe that Kudzayi was in fact 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 were not accurate.

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

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

On the minor charge, Kudzayi was found with four rounds of ammunition at his home, while another nine rounds were recovered at his office.

Comments (2)

Please give us a break from this Baba Jukwa nonsense. Its a ZANU PF scam that was created for whatever reason and now they want to bring closure to it clandestinely. No one will be convicted of any wrong doing and it will all be mission accomplished. Well done Jonathan. You are a real genius!!!!

SHIBHOBHO - 4 July 2014

Hapana nyaya apa. It's just a way to divert people's focus from gvt's glaring failure to tackle corruption issues & fix the tattering economy.

gundamusaira - 4 July 2014

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