via I helped army: Amai Jukwa – DailyNews Live 26 June 2014
HARARE – Incarcerated Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi has opened a can of political worms by sensationally claiming that Cabinet ministers caused his arrest to appease President Robert Mugabe following his outburst that Zanu PF had been infiltrated by “weevils” which had to be rooted out.
In affidavits filed at the High Court yesterday by his lawyer Admire Rubaya in his bail application, Kudzayi rejects outright police findings that he is Baba Jukwa and makes stunning revelations that he worked for the police and the defence forces in their bid to hack into the Facebook account of the “real” Baba Jukwa.
Kudzayi is languishing in remand prison following his arrest last Thursday on accusations of insurgency, terrorism, banditry, sabotage and subverting a constitutionally elected government.
He faces life in prison if he is convicted on these charges.
While the State alleges that Kudzayi is the one behind Baba Jukwa, the 28-year-old editor claims that he actually worked with government ministers Jonathan Moyo, Savior Kasukuwere and the Ministry of Defence to expose the real Baba Jukwa.
Kudzayi, who has since admitted that he is Amai Jukwa, also claims that he received payment for his services to the military.
“I submit that the charges I am facing are false and this is a reckless attempt by the powers that be to try and show the Head of State and Government President Robert Gabriel Mugabe that they have started to deal with the “weevils” in the Zanu PF party yet there is not even an iota of evidence that I committed the offense in question,” he said.
An angry Mugabe recently chided Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Moyo, as the “devil incarnate” who had appointed opposition figures at State-run newspapers.
Mugabe said Moyo’s appointees were being used to malign certain political heavyweights in the ruling party, which has over the years been saddled with incessant factional fights.
But Kudzayi says instead of being accused of banditry and plotting insurgency, he should in fact be commended for working with ministers and the army to smoke out the real Baba Jukwa.
“I will state that I only became aware of the Baba Jukwa issue when I was called upon by Honourable Saviour Kasukuwere to assess and make an overview of information as an IT expert…..I then made a report back to Honourable Savior Kasukuwere wherein I was referred to Honourable Jonathan Moyo.
“I would indicate that my involvement relates to the hacking of the Baba Jukwa account wherein I worked with officials from the Ministry of Defence.
“…I gave them two detailed reports to the Baba Jukwa issue. I also did a detailed presentation at the Ministry of Defence which was attended by high level people including Kembo, Moyo, Hebert Huruva and Professor Jonathan Moyo. I was even paid for these expert services,” Kudzayi says.
In his founding affidavit, Kudzayi also claims that he is being victimised by “powers that be” who wrongly believe that he belongs to a certain faction.
“These allegations are not only laughable but a clear abuse of the Criminal Justice System by those in the high 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 with Zanu PF and the Government of Zimbabwe,” Kudzayi says.
Accusing the State of putting the cart before the horse, Kudzayi claims that he had “just been arrested by trigger happy people bent on hoodwinking their superiors as if they have done a brilliant job of nabbing the real Baba Jukwa”.
“I occupy a very strategic position within Zimpapers as the editor of the Sunday Mail of which those in the top echelons of the ruling party and government who believe falsely that I belong to a certain faction within Zanu PF have a motive to raise these malicious, frivolous and vexations allegations,” Kudzayi says.
Meanwhile, Kudzayi’s brother Phillip has also been arrested in connection with the case and is expected to appear at the magistrates’ court today.
Kudzayi’s appeal also has been set down for hearing at the High Court today.
His High Court deposition which came as a surprise statement was published on UK-based website NewZimbabwe.com on Monday, that was widely qouted by the international media, in which he again claimed to have done consultancy work for the military after last year’s disputed elections, just before he joined the Sunday Mail.
“In June 2013, I returned to Zimbabwe and was introduced to Professor Jonathan Moyo who was heading the Team Zanu PF media team. I was tasked with producing Zanu PF’s radio and television campaign material.
“It is at that time that I formally met The Herald editorial team. By that time they had already offered me a position as a contributor and I had been writing under Political Mondays with Amai Jukwa since February 2013.
“After the elections, I remained in the country and did consultancy work for the Ministry of Defence, ZiFM Stereo and some freelance work,” said Kudzayi in his statement dated June 8, 2014.
This was about the same time that Moyo was savaged by President Robert Mugabe, who went on to describe the minister as a divisive character, weevil and devil incarnate.
It is not clear who leaked Kudzayi’s statement, for what purpose and why the UK-based website was chosen for its public release.
Police insist Kudzayi is Baba Jukwa, a shadowy Facebook character who claimed to be a high-ranking but disgruntled Zanu PF mole.
Baba Jukwa posted offensive and sensitive material on his page which claimed to expose dark secrets of senior Zanu PF politicians and security agents.
Kudzayi’s ‘revelations’ that he did consultancy work for the Defence Forces after the elections add a new twist to the murky saga.
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi told the Daily News on Tuesday (before Kudzayi’s High Court bail application) that he would not comment on Kudzayi’s claims.
“Aah, I am not going to comment on those things,” he said, before abruptly terminating the conversation.
The Daily News had sought Sekeremayi’s comment seeking to establish:
- If indeed Kudzayi had done consultancy work for the military,
- How much he was paid for the consultancy,
- What type of work he did, and
- Whether he had scarce skills needed by the military that were not readily available within the defence forces for him to be considered for consultancy.
Kudzayi was arrested last week following stunning raids at his home and the Sunday Mail newsroom.
The 28-year-old is accused of conniving with his older brother Phillip Tawanda (who was arrested on Tuesday) and others who are still at large to overthrow Mugabe’s administration in the run-up to last year’s harmonised elections.
The State argues that a gmail account called firstname.lastname@example.org was registered using Tawanda’s mobile number before the creation of the Baba Jukwa Facebook account.
According to the State, Kudzayi and his accomplices allegedly planned and organised themselves to form what they termed the “Gunda Nleya Brigade” as well as the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army, with the aim to overthrow the government.
The State also alleges that they had put in place a Dare Rechimurenga (War Council) to study the Zimbabwe situation during elections, while also posting Facebook articles encouraging rebellion if the election was stolen.
Most interestingly, the Sunday Mail published a story titled “Hackers unmask Baba Jukwa” on May 11, in which the Kudzayi-edited weekly claimed to have unmasked two South Africa-based journalists as the prime movers behind Baba Jukwa.
In the second count, Kudzayi is being accused of publishing articles branding Mugabe a “dictator” in the full knowledge that this was not correct.
In the High Court papers, Kudzayi says he is not in control of the Baba Jukwa Facebook account.