Sunday Mail Editor bail hearing postponed

via Sunday Mail Editor bail hearing postponed | The Zimbabwean 27 June 2014 by Sofia Mapuranga

The High Court today postponed to July 3, the bail hearing for the Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudakwashe Kudzayi, with the State saying it required more time to study the ‘voluminous bail submissions’ filed by the defence counsel.

Chief Law Officer, Tawanda Zvekare from the Prosecutor General’s Office, requested more time to go through the bail submissions before the State can file its response arguing that Kudzayi’s lawyer, Everson Chatambudza’s bail application was ‘voluminous’.

“The applicant filed a voluminous bail application and we are therefore requesting time to go through it before we file our response. Hopefully, we will be through by July 3,”said Zvekare.

High Court Judge, Esther Muremba, deferred the matter to July 3 to give the state more time to respond to the defense counsel’s submissions.

Kudzayi’s bail application was referred to the High Court last week after Harare provincial magistrate, Douglas Vakai Chikwekwe, said the matter should be determined at a higher court since the charges were serious.

Kudzayi is being accused of “subverting a constitutional government, or alternatively, attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism”.

He is also charged with contravening section 28(2() of the Firearms Act (Chapter 10.09) and two other offences of publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State or, alternatively, undermining authority of or insulting the president.

Allegations against Kudzayi are that sometime in April last year, acting in connivance with Phillip Tawanda Kudzayi, 29, his elder brother who handed himself to the police last week and appeared in court yesterday facing charges of subverting a constitutional government, or alternatively, attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism, the duo and other unnamed suspects, created a Gmail account called using an Econet line number 0771 446 541 registered in Phillip’s name.

It is alleged, that the Gmail account, whose Econet line is still possessed by Phillip, was used to create a Facebook account called Baba Jukwa.

The State alleges that Kudzayi planned and organised with some of his colleagues calling themselves The Gunda Nleya Brigade and Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army, to overthrow the government through a war and urged people to join the military outfits.

The State also says Kudzayi posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page and encouraged rebellion against the government if the July 31 general elections last year were rigged by President Robert Mugabe’s party, Zanu (PF).

It furthers accuses Kudzayi and his group of further posting articles on social networks to the effect that they had a civil disobedience command structure, Dare reChimurenga, in place and that a team was on the ground studying and monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe.

According to the police, the Sunday Mail on May 11 this year published a story about the alleged true identity of Baba Jukwa titled, “Hackers unmask Baba Jukwa”, a story which implicated two journalists based in South Africa, Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio.

However, investigations revealed that Kudzayi was in control of Baba Jukwa’s Gmail account as his details were on the recovery panel of the same account.

The police, however, argue that their investigations revealed that the account was never hacked.

On August 7 2008 Kudzayi also wrote and published an article in the Zimbabwe Mail online publication attacking President Robert Mugabe.

In the said article, according to the State, Kudzayi went on to “falsely label the president a dictator who commits gross human rights abuses”.

He further called the president “a tyrant” and accused him of taking land from white farmers and giving it to his cronies and not the people of Zimbabwe.

Magistrate Chikwekwe last week remanded Kudzayi to July 7 where he is set to appear in court for his routine remand hearing.