Top stories for June 21-25

Sunday Mail editor now said to be Baba Jukwa – Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi who was arrested on Thursday is now being accused of being Baba Jukwa, a faceless facebook character that claimed to be a disgruntled Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front insider and was very popular in the run-up to the 2013 elections. The media including the Sunday Mail last month “exposed” Baba Jukwa as two South African based reporters, Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio of the Zimbabwean. Kudzayi was appointed editor of the Sunday Mail in April. He appeared in court today charged with insurgency, terrorism, banditry, sabotage, subverting a constitutionally elected government and not securing firearms but was not asked to plead and will appear in court on Monday. Kudzayi is alleged to have connived with his brother in Aril last year to overthrow the government and opened a Baba Jukwa email account. The Baba Jukwa facebook page was created on 22 March 2013.

Zimbabwe tourism tweet riles Kenyans
The internet is causing quite a stir in Zimbabwe. Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi was arrested last week and appears in court tomorrow on charges of insurgency including being behind the facebook character Baba Jukwa which caused a stir in the run-up to the 2013 elections. Now focus has shifted to the other major social platform, twitter. A tweet allegedly from the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front says: “It is very sad that it is no longer safe to go on holiday 2Kenya. While they fix their problems – consider visiting Zimbabwe the paradise.” There have been several attacks in Kenya allegedly by Al Shabaab in recent days. The tweet sparked a number of responses and was retweeted several times. It was posted on 17 June, nearly two weeks after President Robert Mugabe was awarded the Best Tourism Destination awarded by the European Council on Tourism and Trade. Some quarters have brushed off the award as bogus. It is not clear whether the twitter handled @zanu_pf is the official handle of the ruling party because there are several handles with the name zanu-pf, but reports say whether official or not, Kenyan authorities are riled by the tweet. An unnamed source is quoted as saying: “You cannot be entirely sure who this twitter account belongs to but from an initial look it can well be official. If it is the tweets about Kenya are unacceptable and if it is not an official account, like a parody account, it still is not ok to make such comments about our country. We supported Zimbabwe when they were the Western world’s outcasts and would expect no less now that Kenya is going through a tough period. We shall get to the bottom of this and will act according to verified findings.” Zimbabwe is hosting the 9th Routes Africa, which begins in Victoria Falls today.


Chii nhai?
“Chii nhai? Vakuru vedu vanenge vapindwa nemweya waSatan. Every Monday when I get briefings from the police, we have cases of children being abused from all over. I should have brought the statistics here to show you. Sometimes it is the father or an uncle abusing their children. Sometimes it is an elderly person or a very young girl raped by a close relative. It is happening and it is terrible. We don’t know what is happening. So where have our morals gone? If we are letting you down, we are saying learn from us how not to do the bad things we are doing and how to do the good we are not doing. Something has gone wrong. What has happened to our moral and social fibre? As government, we are working on enhancing our policing interventions to eradicate what has turned into a epidemic.”- President Robert Mugabe addressing the children’s Parliament yesterday.


Let’ s discuss ideas not personalities- Chinamasa
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has hit the nail right on the head this time, if only his colleagues from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the media could take heed. He says Zimbabweans should stop being obsessed with succession and focus on the economy and should stop of tolerance.


Sunday Mail editor’s case referred to High Court
Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi’s case was today referred to the High Court after the magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe said he did not have the jurisdiction to preside over his bail application. Kudzayi was arrested last Thursday and is facing several charges including undermining the authority of the president. He is also said to have been the main person behind Baba Jukwa, a facebook character that surfaced just before last year’s elections and claimed to be a disgruntled Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front member out to expose corruption in the party. His case continues to be intriguing. Baba Jukwa posted on his facebook yesterday while Kudzayi was in custody. A report in The Herald today said Kudzayi was part of the ZANU-PF election campaign last year. The report quoted party spokesman Rugare Gumbo as saying: “He was a member of the campaign team based at the ZANU-PF headquarters. I wouldn’t say I know him too well, I only saw him during the last days of the campaign.”


Zimbabwe needs to be smarter as a country – Zimra boss
Zimbabwe Revenue Authority boss Gershom Pasi yesterday said Zimbabwe needs to be smarter as a country and know all its revenue so that it can allocate it appropriately and know what the money is going to be used for. He told the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Economic Development that his department was being asked to raise revenue for the government yet there were some government departments that raised revenue and never accounted for it, yet they still wanted to be paid by treasury. “For instance, an example which comes to mind readily, we all know the roadblocks that we have. Sometimes we hear figures of US$3 million, US$7 million, being collected per month from those roadblocks. That is the amount which finally gets to be accounted for, not talking about what goes into the policemen’s pockets. And then at the end of the month we have an issue with Treasury, they want money for salaries for the same people who are collecting. We still need to find money for fuel to take prisoners to the courts and so on, but we don’t get a schedule of how all those monies which are being collected elsewhere are being accounted for. We need to be smarter as a country and have all our revenues and then when we are allocating we know that we have allocated all that we have and it has gone to the approved use.”


Is Muchechetere’s case slowly collapsing?
The trial of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation suspended chief executive Happison Muchechetere failed to take off yesterday because the defence was not ready and was rescheduled for 9 July. His lawyer Keith Kachambwa said he would be applying for exception to the charge because what Muchechetere did is not an offence. Initially Muchechetere was charged with fraud but this was changed to contravening a section of the Procurement Act. The charge relates to the acquisition of an outside broadcasting van from China. Muchechetere is reported to have inflated the price and pocketed some of the money. Beaven Murevanhema for the State said Muchechetere was just trying to delay the trial. His lawyers were given enough time to respond to the allegations.


Baba Jukwa and weevils
The trial of Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi could open a can of worms if what he said in his bail applicationyesterday is true. Kudzayi is charged with subversion and being the person behind the facebook character Baba Jukwa. “These allegations are not only laughable, but 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 people behind it. This is clearly a trial and error by the State in seeking to resolve the Baba Jukwa mystery. The State is just stabbing in the dark hoping along the way as they arrest innocent people like me and victimising the same, they would get the real Baba Jukwa. This is a clear lie. I am not Baba Jukwa at all….. I was really assisting the Ministry of Defence and I have been taken back by this backstabbing by the State, yet I was trying to resolve the mystery with them through the ministry of defence and police, law and order section…. Further, what the police are claiming to have investigated they actually got it from myself as I supplied them with the relevant information through Assistant Commissioner Makedenge. I am perplexed that I am being falsely incriminated, yet the investigating officer knows very well that my involvement in the matter related only to hacking Baba Jukwa account and the Ministry of Defence officials were also in the picture of my involvement in hacking of Baba Jukwa Gmail account… The State has missed the ball and is now majoring in minor and trivial things, yet the real Baba Jukwa is laughing off after the State has arrested an innocent man who has no connection to Baba Jukwa page.”



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