'Baba Jukwa' further remanded

HARARE - Edmund Kudzayi, the Sunday Mail editor and his brother Phillip, have been further remanded to September 1 after briefly appearing in court yesterday.

Police arrested the editor of the Sunday Mail last month after raiding his office at Herald House in the capital, Harare.

His brother subsequently surrendered himself to the police.

Both were charged with “attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism” and “subverting the constitutional government,” according to the charge sheet.

“All of the charges carry a life sentence.

Authorities accused Kudzayi and his brother of being the anonymous Facebook blogger “Baba Jukwa.”

The blog, by a purported mole within the ruling Zanu PF party, became popular in the run-up to last year’s elections when it disclosed allegations of assassination plots and corruption within the ruling party.

Kudzayi, who was appointed editor of the Sunday Mail in April, had been freed on bail.

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 allegedly
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”.

Police believe that Edmund was in fact Baba Jukwa ostensibly because he was in control of the Baba Jukwa gmail account.

He is also being accused of publishing articles branding Mugabe a “dictator” in the full knowledge that the facts were not accurate.

The State alleges that the articles falsely labelled Mugabe a “tyrant” who committed gross human rights abuses.

They allege that Mugabe stole the 2008 elections and that he presided over the country’s economic collapse.

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

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