Senior Court Reporter
The Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Phillip had their application for freedom quashed yesterday after the court ruled that the prosecution is making frantic efforts to gather sufficient evidence needed in the case.
Edmund and Philip are accused of being the main characters behind the shadowy Facebook blog Baba Jukwa.
The magistrate Mr Milton Serima said this while dismissing the pair’s application for refusal of further remand.
This is the third time the brothers have unsuccessfully applied for their freedom.
In his ruling, Mr Serima said he was convinced that a Zimbabwean delegation led by chief law officer Mr Tawanda Zvekare from the Prosecutor General’s office met with representatives from the department of justice in the United States of America.
“I am convinced that the State is not just sitting on its laurels for it is clear that communication has taken place between the State and the justice department in the USA.
“While the defence had earlier argued that there was no proof that anyone went to the USA, a letter from the USA department of justice confirmed that State representatives were in that country.
“In the letter, a representative from USA confirmed that they met with Mr Zvekare and several others and I believe Mr Makedenge was part of the delegation. This allays the applicants’ fears that the State had not been telling the truth,” he said.
Mr Serima also said that the pair’s rights were not being interfered with.
He added, “Also in that letter from USA, Mr Zvekare is indicated to have asked that the matter be dealt with urgently but the department of justice said the request required time and careful analysis.
“These developments buttress the State’s contention that this is a complex matter.
“In the circumstances, I don’t envisage a situation where it can be said that their rights are being interfered with.”
Therefore, the application was dismissed.
On Monday this week, the pair, through its lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya made the application arguing that their right to trial within a reasonable time should not be trampled upon.
However, prosecutor Miss Sharon Mashavira opposed the application and urged the court to postpone the matter pending finalisation of extra-territorial investigations, saying the US department of justice and criminal division was yet to assist in the case.
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 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 purposes of overthrowing the Government.
Edmund allegedly posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page, which encouraged rebellion against Government if the July 31 general election “were stolen”.
They are facing charges involving banditry, insurgency and demeaning the office of the President.