Court rules on Jukwa application today
Fungai Lupande Court Reporter—
Sunday Mail Editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Philip who are accused of being the main characters behind the shadowy Facebook blog Baba Jukwa will know today if they will be removed from remand after they made an application yesterday. Opposing the application, prosecutor Ms Sharon Mashavira urged the court to postpone the matter pending finalisation of extra territorial investigations, saying the United States department of justice and criminal division was yet to assist in the case.
Investigating officer Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge was recently reported to have gone to the United States to get more information on the Baba Jukwa blog from Google and Facebook operators.
“US, Washington DC department of justice criminal division in the office of international affairs, have sent letters in response to State’s request pertaining investigations,” said Ms Mashavira.
“We are still waiting for documents from Google and Facebook which will form part of the evidence. It would not be in the interest of justice to remove the accused from remand considering the complexity of the matter which requires mutual legal assistance.”
Ms Mashavira said that Asst Comm Makedenge was in the gallery in case the brothers’ lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya wanted to check his passport to establish if he had indeed gone to the US.
Mr Rubaya told the court that the continued wait for the letters from the US exposed Asst Comm Makedenge as having done nothing with regards the matter so far.
“This is an old song being repeated today,” he said.
“If Asst Comm Makedenge was denied assistance, he should tell us. We don’t want to believe that the State is being used by a political hoax, but they leave us to presume.
“The steps taken so far are elementary which, should have been done before arresting the accused.
“There is no guarantee that they will have the information, let them investigate until Jesus’ second coming, but the accused’s rights to trial within a reasonable time should not be trampled upon.”
Edmund and Philip are facing charges involving banditry, insurgency and demeaning the Office of the President by allegedly running an online campaign against the Government under the Facebook page, Baba Jukwa.
It is alleged that in April last year, Edmund hatched a plan with Philip to overthrow the Government through unconstitutional means.
They allegedly created a Gmail account, [email protected], using a mobile phone line registered in Philip’s name, but used by Edmund.
The two allegedly posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page, which encouraged rebellion against the Zanu-PF Government.
They also posted articles to the effect that they had a Dare Rechimurenga in place and that a team was on the ground studying the situation in Zimbabwe.
Investigations revealed that Edmund and Philip were the ones in control of the Baba Jukwa Gmail account.
The court further heard that Philip opened an account with a local bank, which he accessed payments for Amai Jukwa articles, which were authored and published by Edmund.
Harare magistrate Mr Milton Serima presided.