via Baba Jukwa plot exposed | The Zimbabwean 14.05.14
A senior staffer at the Sunday Mail is behind the leaking of recent Baba Jukwa exposés. He is working with senior politicians in Zanu (PF) and intelligence agents to fight a factional war ahead of the party’s elective congress this year.
Reliable sources have informed The Zimbabwean that the journalist, who cannot be named for professional reasons, was part of the Baba Jukwa project and communicated on Facebook as Mai Jukwa.
Recent media reports claimed to have identified two South Africa-based journalists, Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio, as the faces behind the sensational online persona whose Facebook page had an unprecedented 300,000 readers ahead of the 2013 elections. They have denied the accusation and are seeking legal advice.
The Sunday Mail staffer, reported to have a strong technical background, is said to have engineered the leak by simply retrieving some of the information to which he had access and giving it to powerful Zanu (PF) members who are now planning to use it to tarnish the names of their rivals.
Baba Jukwa’s Facebook page went viral ahead of the 2013 elections, with daily releases of detailed information about the inner workings of Zanu (PF), the intelligence system and other organisations associated with them.
The mastermind behind the real Baba Jukwa, who publicly claimed to be a disgruntled intelligence mole and party member, remains unknown.
“The Baba Jukwa exposes are now being used as a tool in the factional wars within Zanu (PF). There are some senior members who clearly gave some information to Baba Jukwa and it appears that their rivals in the party know their names,” said the highly-placed source.
He said a complex plot had been devised by senior party officials. “The aim is to push President Mugabe and the politburo to reignite the debate on Baba Jukwa and then to release the names of the Zanu (PF) stalwarts who communicated with him so as to discredit them,” he added.
“The timing of the release of the expose is strategic, as there is a congress coming. The information that has been planted in the media so far has always been known by the plotters. Mkhululi and Ncube are mere scapegoats in a tricky political game.”
This is not the first time that senior Zanu (PF) officials have been exposed through leaked confidential correspondence. In recent years, several heavyweights, among them politburo members Saviour Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo and some generals, were revealed in the Wikileaks released by two hackers as having given sensitive information about the inner workings of Mugabe and his party to US diplomats.
The plot to use the Baba Jukwa saga to fight party rivals is apparently bearing fruit, with Zanu (PF) saying it would probe insiders accused of sharing information with the Facebook sensation.
Following a politburo meeting on Monday, a local daily reported that the Zanu (PF) Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa and party spokesperson Rugare Gumb, were both calling for the probe.
They admitted that party members had posted messages to Baba Jukwa.
“It is necessary and essential to discuss the matter and investigate what could have happened,” said Mutasa. “I agree that some among us were supplying those accused people with information with a view to showing the party in bad light and there is need to probe the matter. But we have to get detailed information because we only have what is in the media.”
Gumbo described as “worrisome” the participation by senior party officials, whose names remain a secret. “Some of the information was completely accurate and at times outlandish. We have to keep probing to discover who was doing that. It is difficult to identify those individuals, but the matter has to be looked into intensively,” said Gumbo.
There are two main factions gunning to succeed Mugabe—one led by Vice President Joice Mujuru and the other by Justice Minister and party Secretary for Legal Affairs Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mutasa and Gumbo are said to support Mujuru faction and have publicly supported her in the past.