Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Police investigations into the Baba Jukwa saga have gone international, with a team of detectives expected to leave for the United States to meet social networks and search engine providers to aid the State case against Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Philip.
This was revealed in court by prosecutor Miss Sharon Mashavira while responding to Edmund and Philip’s application for refusal of further remand on charges of subversion and undermining the authority of the President through the Baba Jukwa Facebook account.
Both Edmund (28) and Philip (29) are suspected to be administrators of the Baba Jukwa account.
The pair yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Milton Serima for their routine remand and Miss Mashavira sought a further postponement of the matter to October 3.
She argued that there were extra-territorial investigations still to be conducted in the United States.
“Your Worship, we spoke to the head of the investigating team Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge and he informed us that the docket has been sent to the Prosecutor-General’s office for perusal and preparation of the trial date,” said Miss Mashavira.
“An entry has been endorsed on the record for extra-territorial investigations and that there is a team of detectives that is going to leave the country for the United States of America to meet the officials of Facebook and Google.”
Miss Mashavira said that the pair’s application was misplaced.
“Your Worship, their application is misplaced, considering that the accused persons were only arrested on June 24 and they have been on remand for only two months, which is contrary to the rule of practice for the accused to be on remand for a reasonable period of time for them to demand for a trial date,” she said.
“They are facing a complex matter, hence should remain on remand since the State is not just doing a lip service but making efforts to set their trial date.” Edmund and Philip in their application through their lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya argued that the State would not suffer any prejudice if they were to be removed from remand and proceed by a way of summons.
“Your Worship, the State should not arrest to investigate but investigate to arrest,” said Mr Rubaya. “The police should have done their investigations way back before arresting the two. Even the extra-territorial investigations, they should have been conducted long ago.
“Who knows, maybe they are not even going there, who doesn’t know that relations between Zimbabwe and America are sour? What if they do not get visas?
“Let us give the State all the time in the world to investigate, but the accused persons should be removed from remand first. Two months is a very long time, it is not a walk in the park and there is no justification made by the State as to why they are not furnishing the pair with a trial date.”
After hearing submissions from both counsels, Mr Serima rolled over the matter to today for ruling.
It is the State’s case that sometime in April 2013, Edmund hatched a plan with Philip to overthrow the Government through unconstitutional means.
It is alleged that he created a Gmail account, [email protected] using a mobile phone line registered in Philip’s name, but used by Edmund.
The two allegedly formed two separate groups called the Gunda Nleya Brigade and the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army with the purpose of overthrowing the Government.
Edmund allegedly posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which encouraged rebellion against Government if the July 31 harmonised elections “were stolen”.