HomeNewsBaba Jukwa case: Editor’s discharge bid fails

Baba Jukwa case: Editor’s discharge bid fails

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HARARE magistrate Shelton Serima yesterday dismissed an application for refusal of further remand on charges of subversion and undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe through the Baba Jukwa Facebook account by Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his elder brother Philip.

PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
SENIOR REPORTER

In his ruling, Serima said the complex nature of the case warranted more time and the State should be allowed the opportunity to finalise its investigations.

“Accused persons have been on remand for a reasonable time considering the complexity of the matter. The State should be afforded more time to complete its investigations,” he said.

The matter was subsequently remanded to October 3 and the record will be married to that of University of Zimbabwe economics student Romeo Musemburi, who is on remand on the same allegations after reportedly authoring a subversive statement and posting it to the phantom Facebook character Baba Jukwa’s gmail account, allegedly asking for the supply of guns so that he and other students could “hit the streets”.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira had pleaded with the court to dismiss the application on the basis that a team of police detectives was set to head for the United States to meet social networks and search engine providers to aid the State case.

“Your Worship, we spoke to the head of the investigating team, Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge, and he informed us that the docket has been sent to the Prosecutor-General’s Office for perusal and preparation of the trial date,” Mashavira told the court on Monday.

“An entry has been endorsed on the record for extra-territorial investigations and that there is a team of detectives that is going to leave the country for the United States of America to meet the officials of Facebook and Google.”

Mashavira had also argued that the application was misplaced since the pair had been on remand for only two months, which she said was “a reasonable period of time”.

Defence lawyer Admire Rubaya expressed concern that it appeared as if the police had arrested his clients to investigate when the rule of practice was that they should have investigated to arrest.

The State alleges that in April 2013, Edmund hatched a plan with Philip to overthrow the government through unconstitutional means.

It is further alleged that they proceeded to create a gmail account under the name babajukwa2013@gmail.com using a mobile phone line registered in Philip’s name, but used by Edmund.

Edmund allegedly posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which encouraged rebellion against government if the July 31 harmonised elections “were stolen”.

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