THE trial date for Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Phillip, who are facing charges of waging a “cyber-terrorism” war against the government using a shadowy Facebook blog Baba Jukwa, will be announced in a month’s time when the State would have wrapped up its investigations.
Public prosecutor Sharon Mashavira yesterday told Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei that the State would announce the trial date on August 4 when the suspects appear in court for their routine remand hearings.
The suspects’ lawyer Admire Rubaya concurred with the State saying the month-long delay was adequate for the State to complete its investigations.
“We hope that by the 4th of August the State will be furnishing us with the trial date,” Rubaya said.
Kudzayi and Philip, whose charges involve banditry, insurgency and demeaning the Office of the President by allegedly running an online campaign against the government under the Facebook page Baba Jukwa, are on $5 000 bail each granted by the High Court.
Kudzayi was appointed Sunday Mail editor in April following the resignation of Brezhnev Malaba and is said to have played an instrumental role in Zanu PF’s 2013 election media campaign and wrote a column in the Herald under the pseudonym Mai Jukwa, presumably to counter Baba Jukwa’s exposés.
Tawanda Zvekare of the Prosecutor-General’s Office alleges that in April last year, Kudzayi hatched a plan with his brother, Philip, to overthrow the government through unconstitutional means.
It is alleged he created a Gmail account, firstname.lastname@example.org, using a mobile phone line registered in Philip’s name, but used by Kudzayi.
The two allegedly formed two separate groups called the Gunda Nleya Brigade and the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army to carry out the alleged project.
The suspects allegedly posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which encouraged rebellion against the Zanu PF government. They also posted articles to the effect that they had a Dare Rechimurenga in place and that a team was on the ground studying the situation in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, police yesterday said they were keen to interview Zakes Moyo and Mkhululi Chimoio in connection with the administration of the Baba Jukwa Facebook Page.
In a statement, national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the net was closing in on the suspects who are both based in South Africa.