Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi, who the state alleges is behind the shadowy and controversial Facebook character, Baba Jukwa, says he was one of the masterminds behind President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s victory in last year’s July 31 elections.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Kudzayi now stands accused of attempting to subvert Mugabe’s government and is out on US$5 200 bail pending trial. He faces allegations of attempting to remove Mugabe’s government by waging “cyber-terrorism” through the use of the Baba Jukwa Facebook page.
But Kudzayi in his voluminous affidavit accompanying his application for bail dismisses the claims as “reckless attempts” by top government officials to please Mugabe.
He details how he worked tirelessly producing Zanu-PF campaign material, that a video for the Gushungo hit song that he claims helped Mugabe’s victory.
Kudzayi said he was a key member of Mugabe’s election campaign team which crafted the 90-year-old leader’s win ahead of his main rival and former premier, Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC-T.
“I was very instrumental in campaigning for the very government I am being alleged to have intended to subvert. I also employed my expertise in information technology to help Zanu-PF develop audio-visual campaign materials which assisted the party in winning resoundingly during the last elections,” Kudzayi said in his affidavit forming part of the court application for bail.
“These allegations are not only laughable but are a clear abuse of the criminal justice system by those in the corridors of power who are afraid that I can use my technological expertise to expose those who actually supplied the real Baba Jukwa with blow by blow details of sensitive meetings within Zanu-PF and the Zimbabwean government and also the real people behind it.”
Kudzayi said he never wrote any articles which sought to encourage rebellion against the government.
“It was common cause within the government, Zimpapers and Zanu-PF corridors of power that then I was writing pro-Zanu-PF and pro-government articles given that I was being paid weekly for the articles,” he said.
Kudzayi was arrested two weeks ago. His brother Phillip, who is also out on US$5 000 bail and a University of Zimbabwe student, Romeo Musemburi, have also been arrested on the same charges of waging “cyber-terrorism” against Mugabe’s government through the use of the Baba Jukwa page on Facebook.
“This is clearly a trial and error by the State seeking to resolve the Baba Jukwa mystery. The State is just stabbing in the dark hoping that along the way as they arrest innocent people like victimising some they would get the real Baba Jukwa,” Kudzayi said.
He said he was still assisting the Ministry of Defence in unmasking Baba Jukwa but had been “taken a back by this backstabbing by the State.”
“It would be incredible for me, [an] IT expert to self-incriminate myself foolishly like that,” said Kudzayi.
He has since challenged the State to engage Facebook owners Mark Zuckerburg and his firm to ascertain the Internet Protocol Address (IP) of the person who set up the account as well as its administrators.
Kudzayi said he only became aware of the Baba Jukwa issue when he was called upon by Environment, Water and Climate minister Saviour Kasukuwere to assess and make an overview of the information provided by a hacker called Kennedy brought by one Herbert Huruva, to see if it was of any value which related to the hacking of Baba Jukwa’s Gmail account.
He further said Kasukuwere later referred him to Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister, Jonathan Moyo and together with the said hacker, had a meeting only related to the hacking of the Baba Jukwa’s account.
“A proper assessment would show the Amai Jukwa Yahoo email account and the number was inserted during the hacking period and I will further state that this recovery account was never put on the Gmail account on Baba Jukwa’s date of set up,” Kudzayi said. “I never opened the Gmail account, neither did I open the Facebook page. It would not have made sense for me to lose the access of the Gmail account which had enabled me to get the details relating to the real Baba Jukwa,” he argued.