Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi has said his arrest has been instigated by people in high authority who are afraid he can use his technological expertise to expose them for feeding the real Facebook character Baba Jukwa with sensitive information within Government and zanu-pf.This comes as his brother Phillip Kudzayi surrendered himself to police on Tuesday evening where he was by last night still assisting with investigations.
In his bail application filed at the High Court yesterday, which is expected to be heard tomorrow, 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.
In the bail application, Edmund said people who turned the tables against him were doing so in a bid to impress President Mugabe, following his attack on “weevils” trying to destroy Zanu-PF from within.
“These allegations are not only laughable, but a clear abuse of the criminal justice system by those in the corridors of power who are afraid that I can use my technological expertise to expose those who actually supplied the real Baba Jukwa with blow-by-blow details of sensitive meetings within Zanu-PF and the Zimbabwean Government and also the people behind it,” Edmund said.
“This is clearly a trial and error by the State in seeking to resolve the Baba Jukwa mystery. The State is just stabbing in the dark hoping along the way as they arrest innocent people like (me) and victimising the same, they would get the real Baba Jukwa. This is a clear lie. I am not Baba Jukwa at all.”
Kudzayi, who contends that he was instrumental in campaigning for Zanu-PF, said he was surprised that the State had rushed to dismiss a story published in the Sunday Mail edition of May 11 2014 indicating that Baba Jukwa had been unmasked as a hoax.
He said there was no evidence to place before the court that the Baba Jukwa gmail account was not hacked.
Kudzayi said since he was occupying a strategic position within Zimpapers as the Editor of the Sunday Mail, certain people in the top echelons of Zanu-PF and Government who believed that he belonged to a certain faction within the ruling party had a sinister motive against him.
He said they wanted him removed from his post to curtail efforts he might employ to assist unmasking Baba Jukwa.
Kudzayi said he was instrumental in assisting the Ministry of Defence and the police to retrieve documents from the Baba Jukwa gmail account and whatever the State boasted of having on the character was accessed through his effort.
“I was really assisting the Ministry of Defence and I have been taken back by this backstabbing by the State, yet I was trying to resolve the mystery with them through the ministry of defence and police, law and order section,” he said.
Kudzayi said he became aware of the Baba Jukwa issue when Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere called him to assess and make an overview of information as an IT expert provided by a hacker only identified as Kennedy.
He said Kennedy had been brought to Minister Kasukuwere by Herbert Huruva.
Kudzayi said after making a report back to Minister Kasukuwere, he was referred to Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo.
“Further, what the police are claiming to have investigated they actually got it from myself as I supplied them with the relevant information through Assistant Commissioner (Crispen) Makedenge,” he said.
“I am perplexed that I am being falsely incriminated, yet the investigating officer knows very well that my involvement in the matter related only to hacking Baba Jukwa account and the Ministry of Defence officials were also in the picture of my involvement in hacking of Baba Jukwa Gmail account.”
Kudzayi said his narrative would assist to prove that he was arrested by people bend on hoodwinking their superiors as if they had done a brilliant job of nabbing the actual Baba Jukwa.
“The State has missed the ball and is now majoring in minor and trivial things, yet the real Baba Jukwa is laughing off after the State has arrested an innocent man who has no connection to Baba Jukwa page.” he said.
Kudzayi also denied hatching a plan to over throw the Government through unconstitutional means and challenged the State to show evidence to prove his links with the Gunda Nleya Brigade and the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army.
He wants the court to release him on bail and offered to pay US$2 000 coupled with the most stringent conditions “in the whole world”, including house arrest pending the trial.
Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday confirmed the arrest of Phillip, a consultant engineer with Dick and Kunaka Engineers, who turned himself in in the company of his lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya on Tuesday evening.
“He is being charged for subverting a constitutional Government as defined by section 22(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Codification and Reform Act, Chapter 9:23 or alternatively attempting to commit an act of insurgency,’’ said Snr Asst Comm Charamba in a statement.
“Phillip Tawanda Kudzayi is responsible for administering the Baba Jukwa page together with his brother Edmund Kudzayi and other accomplices who are still at large. The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to state that we are keen to arrest all the other accomplices.”
Mr Rubaya confirmed the arrest of Phillip.
“We handed him to the police on Tuesday evening,” he said. “I am now going there to record a warned and cautioned statement.”
Mr Rubaya said Phillip was expected in court today.
Edmund is in custody facing similar charges and yesterday he launched a bail application at the High Court seeking his freedom pending his trial.
Kudzayi (28) appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts on Monday, but magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe refused to hear his bail application and advised him to approach the High Court because the charges he faces were serious.
Kudzayi was remanded in custody to July 7 for routine remand.