The Herald (Harare)

23 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Baba Jukwa Posts As Mail Editor Seeks Bail

Photo: The Herald
Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi.

PROSECUTORS last Saturday charged Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi for allegedly being Baba Jukwa, a shadowy Facebook blogger, but it still did not stop the posts.

Yesterday, Baba Jukwa, who had last updated his page on June 16, posted: "Good morning Zimbabwe. Please say a short simple prayer to God in your own mother tongue, so our nation can be blessed, and there can be more exposures of evils and all hidden treacheries, we are now almost there now, just one small step left."

Police investigators say Kudzayi - who worked for Zanu-PF during the July 2013 elections harmonised elections - is behind the page which claims its author is a discontented senior Zanu-PF loyalist, although it promoted MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai's election campaign in 2013.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo yesterday confirmed that Kudzayi, a software developer and polemicist who lived in the United Kingdom until last year, was part of their election campaign team.

Kudzayi worked on several attack videos against the MDC-T as well as street billboards, including one showing Tsvangirai, MDC-T secretary Tendai Biti and organising secretary Nelson Chamisa smiling while reading the Zanu-PF manifesto.

"He was a member of the campaign team based at the Zanu-PF headquarters," Cde Gumbo said last night. "I wouldn't say I know him too well, I only saw him during the last days of the campaign."

Kudzayi (28) was arrested last Thursday and charged with attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected Government or alternatively attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism.

He was also charged with publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the state, or alternatively undermining the authority of or insulting the President.

Police investigations claim, Kudzayi, acting in connivance with his elder brother, Phillip Tawanda, who is said to be still at large, created a Gmail account called babajukwa2013@gmail.com using an Econet line number 0771 446 541 registered in Phillip's name.

It is alleged the said Gmail account, whose Econet line is still being used by Phillip, was used to create a Facebook account called Baba Jukwa.Pursuant to their plans, it is alleged, Kudzayi posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which reportedly encouraged rebellion against the government if the July 31 general election were stolen. This is roughly the same time he was a vital cog in the Zanu-PF campaign information and publicity team, based at the party's head-quarters.

Harare Provincial Magistrate Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe remanded Kudzayi to today for his bail application with consent from Chief Law Officer Tawanda Zvekare and Kudzayi's lawyer Joseph Mandizha.

It is claimed that sometime in April last year, Kudzayi connived with Phillip whereupon they "hatched a plan to overthrow the Government by unconstitutional means" in the run up to July 31 general elections.

The State alleges Kudzayi planned and organised with others calling themselves the Gunda Nleya Brigade and Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army, to overthrow the government "through waging a war".

The State also alleges Kudzayi and his group further posted articles on the social networking platform to the effect that they had a Dare Rechimurenga in place and that a team was on the ground studying and monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe.

The State also alleges that on August 7, 2008, Kudzayi wrote and published an article in the Zimbabwe Mail online publication attacking the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

In the said article, according to the State, Kudzayi went on to "falsely label the President a dictator who commits gross human rights abuses" and further accusing him of having stolen the 2008 elections and that he had been presiding over an economic collapse. Harare Provincial Magistrate Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe remanded Kudzayi to today for his bail application with consent from Chief Law Officer Tawanda Zvekare and Kudzayi's lawyer Joseph Mandizha.

It is claimed that sometime in April last year, Kudzayi connived with Phillip whereupon they "hatched a plan to overthrow the Government by unconstitutional means" in the run up to July 31 general elections.

The State alleges Kudzayi planned and organised with others calling themselves the Gunda Nleya Brigade and Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army, to overthrow the government "through waging a war".

Pursuant to their plans, it is alleged, Kudzayi posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which reportedly encouraged rebellion against the government if the July 31 general election were stolen. This is roughly the same time he was a vital cog in the Zanu-PF campaign information and publicity team, based at the party's headquarters.

The State also alleges Kudzayi and his group further posted articles on the social networking platform to the effect that they had a Dare Rechimurenga in place and that a team was on the ground studying and monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe.

The State also alleges that on August 7, 2008, Kudzayi wrote and published an article in the Zimbabwe Mail online publication attacking the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

In the said article, according to the State, Kudzayi went on to "falsely label the President a dictator who commits gross human rights abuses" and further accusing him of having stolen the 2008 elections and that he had been presiding over an economic collapse.

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InFocus

Sunday Mail Editor Gets Bail in Zimbabwe

Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi.

The editor of a government-owned weekly newspaper, Edmund Kudzayi,  who is facing charges ranging from insurgency, terrorism, banditry, to sabotage has been granted bail. Read more »