28 June 2014

Zimbabwe: Jukwa Saga - 10 Suspects Named

Photo: Nehanda Radio
Romeo Tanyaradzwa Musemburi being taken to court facing charges linked to Baba Jukwa.

At least 10 people, including journalist Wilf Mbanga and his wife Trish, are being sought by the police in connection with the shadowy Facebook character Baba Jukwa, who posted subversive articles aimed at inciting people to engage in acts of insurgency and banditry.

This comes in the wake of the recent arrest of Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Phillip, who are accused of administering the Baba Jukwa page.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said apart from Mbanga and his wife they were keen to arrest Mxolisi Ncube, Walter Shoko, Samson Chifamba, George Chirakasha, Anomie Drew, Piniel Nhokodi, Romeo Musemburi and Sarudzai Florence.

Mbanga and his wife are proprietors of The Zimbabwean newspaper and are based in the United Kingdom.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to confirm that besides the arrest of Edmund Kudakwashe Kudzayi and Phillip Tawanda Kudzayi, we are still pursuing investigations with a view to arrest the following outstanding persons," Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

"All the accused persons are administrators to babajukwa2013@gmail.com and Baba Jukwa Facebook page. This is the reason why the Baba Jukwa Facebook page is still very active."

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said since the suspects were in different locations of the world, efforts were being made to bring them to book.

"Police have cast the net wide and will ensure that the law takes its course on anyone engaged in subversive activities," she said.

"Those suspected to have links with Baba Jukwa are Mxolisi Ncube, who is a correspondent with The Zimbabwean newspaper, and Walter Shoko.

Ncube is originally from Tsholotsho and is now based in South Africa while Shoko is a systems and software engineer based in the United Kingdom.

The Zimbabwean newspaper editor and owner, Wilf Mbanga, and his wife Trish are also on the police wanted list in connection with the same matter.

The other suspects are UK-based Zimbabwean Samson Chifamba, who now also holds a British passport, Sarudzai Florence, whose favourite Facebook pages are Baba Jukwa, Gunda-Nleya Brigade and Tendai Biti.

Others are Romeo Musemburi, whose Facebook page is no longer available suggesting that it may have been removed; Piniel Nhokodzi and Anomie Drew, whose backgrounds could not be verified by time of going to print.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said all the nine accused persons were also co-administrators of the Baba Jukwa Facebook page.

In the run-up to the 2013 harmonised elections, Baba Jukwa posted personal information and phone numbers of high-profile people calling the public to abuse them.

The controversial figure remained anonymous until last week when Edmund was arrested making the first major step towards unmasking the real Baba Jukwa.

After his arrest last week, Edmund said he was being incarcerated at the instigation of some people in high authority who were afraid he can use his technological expertise to expose them for feeding the real Baba Jukwa with sensitive information within Government and Zanu-PF.

In his bail application Edmund (28) denied that he was the shadowy Baba Jukwa and accused those behind his arrest of backstabbing him.

He said he had been working with the Ministry of Defence and the police as a consultant to expose Baba Jukwa and those behind the character, but was arrested after providing some information which he obtained using his technological know-how.

Edmund is facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected Government or alternatively attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism.

He is also charged with undermining the authority of the President and keeping ammunition in an unsecured place.

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