By Tarisai Machakaire
HARARE – Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi, who stands accused of banditry, inciting the overthrow of a constitutionally-elected government, insurgency, terrorism and sabotage, has been remanded in custody to July 7 after the courts referred his bail application to the High Court.
This comes as a fellow State editor has added his voice in this intriguing saga by confirming the 28-year-old computer whiz was the brains behind Baba Jukwa’s rival Amai Jukwa.
Police and the State believe that Kudzayi is the man behind the Baba Jukwa Facebook page.
Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe could not entertain the matter because the lower courts have no jurisdiction to hear bail applications in respect of third schedule offences.
Kudzayi appeared in court shackled in leg irons, which were later removed after his lawyer Admire Rubaya raised objections.
He stands accused of publishing falsehoods in an article critical of President Robert Mugabe and could face life imprisonment if convicted of the offences.
Kudzayi is also accused of conniving with his older brother Phillip Tawanda Kudzayi and others who are still at large to overthrow the Mugabe regime in the run-up to last year’s harmonised elections.
The State argues that a gmail account called email@example.com 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 by waging a war.
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.
On May 11 this year, the Sunday Mail published a story titled “Hackers unmask Baba Jukwa”.
However, police believe that Kudzayi was Baba Jukwa as he was in control of the Baba Jukwa gmail account.
In the second count, Kudzayi is being accused of publishing articles branding Mugabe a “dictator” in the full knowledge that the facts may not be accurate.
Prosecutor Tawanda Zvekare said the article falsely labelled Mugabe a dictator and tyrant who committed gross human rights abuses.
The article, according to Zvekare, stated that Mugabe stole the 2008 elections and that he presided over the country’s economic collapse.
Kudzayi was also found with four rounds of ammunition at his home while another nine rounds were recovered at his work office. Daily News