Journalists to sue website over Baba Jukwa story
By Staff Reporter
Two South African based journalists have said they are going to sue the New Zimbabwe.com news website over a story claiming that they are the ones being behind the popular but faceless Facebook political character Baba Jukwa. The page currently has 405,881 followers and growing.
A joint statement issued by Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio said “we would hereby like to notify that we have, with immediate effect, handed over the case to our lawyer, Obert Gutu of Gutu and Chikowero Attorneys-at-Law, who shall institute legal action on behalf of the two journalists.”
The statement dated 11 May 2014 goes on to say “This also means that Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio will therefore, not comment on this matter, without first seeking advice from their lawyer, who shall act on their behalf from now till the legal case is finalized.”
On Saturday New Zimbabwe.com published “email communications, pictures and a video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ex3a9CAXws – showing how unknown hackers broke into the pair’s emails and unmasked Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio as the characters that have been running the page.”
In a separate interview with the NewsDay newspaper, Ncube had said “I think they have been out to get us because we used to interview him (Baba Jukwa), so they thought we knew him, but we wish we did.”
“On two occasions my emails and Facebook accounts were hacked. But let me tell you this now, nothing ever links me to that Jukwa character, though my Yahoo account suddenly got the Baba Jukwa name when you send stuff to it,” he said.
“I did not close it because I never thought anyone would believe I was linked to that. It was a long time back. Last year. What happened is that BJ sent a bulk email introducing himself to international journalists and underneath was a link which I clicked and that’s when it all started. I think I still have the email as well.
“My family is shocked, but personally, I don’t know how to react. One minute I am shocked and the other I am feeling like a hero because I really idolised Baba Jukwa. To be honest, I still do.
“I am also planning a criminal defamation case and civil suit against the publication that went to town without even giving me a right of reply. As I said, I can prove beyond reasonable doubt that I am as in the dark about BJ as you are,” Ncube told the paper.
Baba Jukwa was the Zimbabwean newsmaker of the year for 2013, beating MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai into second place according to an online poll of nearly 3000 Nehanda Radio listeners and readers of the website.
Baba Jukwa propelled by a popular Facebook page and a growing army of informers generated endless headlines by exposing corruption, violence and murder committed by mostly Zanu PF politicians and other prominent figures.