NATIONAL Prosecuting Authority (NPA) chief law officer Tawanda Zvekare and the officer commanding CID Law and Order Division Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge have had meetings with Patricia Petty of the United States Justice Department as part of investigations into the Baba Jukwa saga.
Harare magistrate Milton Serima yesterday said such meetings were proof that the State was making progress in their investigations of the Baba Jukwa case — which has sucked in the US-based Google and Facebook companies — and suspended Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi’s application for refusal of further remand.
Kudzayi, who is facing allegations of undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe through the Baba Jukwa Facebook account together with his elder brother Philip, had argued in his application that there was no proof that Makedenge had travelled to the US as part of the investigations.
Serima, however, said although the State had not produced results of the investigations within the 60 days they had promised, defence counsel Admire Rubaya did not challenge a letter by Petty produced in court confirming that she had held meetings with the officials from Zimbabwe.
“I am convinced that the State is not just sitting on its laurels. Communication has taken place between the State and the Criminal Justice Department (in the US) which shows concerted efforts are being made by the State,” he said.
He said the Criminal Justice Department indicated in its letter that the request for assistance into the operations of Google and Facebook needed a lot of time and careful analysis.
“In the circumstances, I don’t envisage a situation where it can be safely said the applicants’ rights are being interfered with,” noted Serima before dismissing the application. He further remanded the Kudzayi brothers to February 27 2015.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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”.