via Mail editor: How I joined Team Zanu PF 24 June 2014
DETAINED Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi, is now mulling over his predicament in the icy discomfort of a police cell, a shock fall from grace for a man who hobnobbed with the Zanu PF elite at the ‘Shake Shake’ building in Harare as the party strategized for its election triumph last year.
Authorities now claim that while helping Zanu PF campaign for the elections, Kudzayi would also steal into the unruly shadows of cyberspace to attack, shame and generally scandalise the party and its leaders as the notorious Facebook character Baba Jukwa.
Meanwhile, in a statement made available to NewZimbabwe.com on Monday, Kudzayi explains how he found his way into the heart of a famously paranoid Zanu PF.The statement is dated June 8, 2014 which was the same weekend President Robert Mugabe publicly rebuked Information Minister Jonathan Moyo for allegedly appointing former critics of Zanu PF as editors of government-run newspapers.
Moyo reportedly went to see Mugabe the following day in a bid to calm the storm, amid speculation his days in government and Zanu PF were numbered.
EDMUND KUDZAYI: How I joined Team Zanu PF In 2012 I launched an anonymous online personality (AmaiJukwa) that focused on Zimbabwean politics. At the time I was living in the United Kingdom running a media and software business. My decision to be anonymous was motivated by a desire to protect my business interests.
The articles were published on NewZimbabwe.com and soon attracted the attention of the State media in Zimbabwe. The Herald and the ZBC website began reproducing my articles from NewZimbabwe.com and publishing them on their platforms.
NewZimbabwe.com began to receive enquiries from Zanu PF as to my identity. They did not know who I was as we communicated via email and I was unwilling to reveal my identity.
In February 2013 I anonymously released a set of online election adverts in support of Zanu PF. There was a renewed interest in my identity by the Zanu PF information department.
At that time I was unwilling to directly engage for fear of compromising my business interests in the United Kingdom so I contacted an old friend Mike Nyambuya Jnr, the son of Major General Mike Nyambuya, and asked him to visit Zanu PF HQ as an intermediary and find out what they wanted.
He met Psychology Maziwisa the Zanu PF Deputy Director of Information who expressed an interest in engaging my media services in the development of election advertising material for Zanu PF. I agreed and was immediately put in contact with Maziwisa. A few weeks later I received a phone call from Rugare Gumbo expressing a keen interest in my work; I subsequently met him and was deployed to work with Team Zanu PF.
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.
In early 2014 I was approached by Zimpapers and offered the position of Sunday Mail editor. I accepted in March and signed a contract in April.