via Mail editor could face terrorism charges 19 June 2014 by Staff Reporter
SUNDAY Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi spent Thursday night as the unwilling guest of the State in notoriously filthy police holding cells which were recently condemned by the Supreme Court.
The detention would have given him the opportunity to see whether the ZRP is implementing the court’s order to ensure that “holding cells have clean and salubrious flushing toilets with toilet paper and a washing bowl” and that “every person detained (is given) a clean mattress and adequate blankets.”
But the condition of the cells is the least of his concerns, with the authorities understood to be preparing to throw the whole book at him.
Sources said Kudzayi faces a raft of allegations including undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority, terrorism, espionage, attempting to overturn a constitutional order – and pretty much whatever else the authorities can think of.
He was arrested Thursday afternoon, in an incredible turn of events for a man who left the safety of his UK base more than a year ago to return home and help Zanu PF campaign for the July 31 elections.
Kudzayi is understood to have worked with the party’s information department at its Harare headquarters, using his expertise in information technology to help develop audio visual campaign material.
The party rewarded him well after winning the vote, handing him the editorship of the country’s best-selling newspaper, The Sunday Mail in a development that however, rankled with many in Zanu PF’s top echelons.
Police visited Kudzayi’s home early Thursday morning but found him gone to work already. They followed there, found he had slipped out, and then ransacked his office.
Items seized during the raid include a laptop Mac Book Pro, IMAQ laptop, Kia cellphone, white charger adapters, a power bank, a flash stick, a computer CPU and an “MDC-T debate disc” for April 29, 2014.
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba confirmed his arrest but would not clarify the charges.
“They (police) found him at his lawyers (offices) a few moments ago and arrested him,” she said.
In a statement, the Zimpapers group which owns the Sunday Mail said: “(We) wish to advise stakeholders that there are investigations by the Zimbabwe law enforcement agencies involving the Sunday Mail Editor, Edmund Kudzayi.
“In furtherance to the above the agencies visited his home and office early yesterday morning, June 19, 2014 during his absence.
“The agencies carried a number of electronic gadgets including iPads from his office and did not state the reason for such. Kudzayi was also summoned to the police in absentia and did not report for duty.
“Kudzayi was arrested later in the day. By late (Thursday) night Zimpapers had not yet ascertained the exact details of the charges.’’
Although Charamba would not clarify the exact nature of the charges, the hint was in her suggestion that “(they) are to do with the publications that he did” before returning home to work with Zanu PF.
Kudzayi is thought to have been involved with an online publication which first published the 2010 allegations that Bona Mugabe had been raped in Malaysia, claims that infuriated the First Family.
Grace Mugabe later publicly addressed the allegations when commenting about Bona’s prospective nuptials in October last year. The First Lady denied her daughter was raped, proudly adding that she would marry a chaste maiden.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary general Forster Dongozi said the union was “absolutely baffled by the fact that the government has cracked down on journalists in the state-controlled media”.
But Kudzayi’s predicament is not much of a surprise after Mugabe’s recent attack on information minister Jonathan Moyo for allegedly employing as editors individuals previously critical of his party and government.
Mugabe also claimed that Moyo was using his control of the State media to fan factionalism by setting leaders against each other.
A faction rallying behind vice president Joice Mujuru claims Moyo uses the State media to attack its members and thereby shore up a rival group headed by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mugabe and Didymus Mutasa, an ally of Mujuru, said Moyo and other “weevils” accused of destroying Zanu PF from within must be forced out of the party.