Two cabinet ministers, a Zanu (PF) Member of Parliament and a senior journalist at the Sunday Mail are prime targets in ongoing joint investigations by the Central Intelligence Organisation and the police as the net closes in on Baba Jukwa’s identity.
Investigations have intensified and enough evidence has been gathered to nail the four, who cannot be named now for professional reasons, intelligence sources told our news crew.
Both ministers have in the past been named in classified US cables, leaked through Wikileaks, as having divulged sensitive information about President Robert Mugabe’s government to diplomats. The MP is a vocal businessman who won his first ticket to Parliament in last year’s general elections, while the Sunday Mail journalist is reported to be the author of Mai Jukwa.
Both Baba Jukwa and Mai Jukwa were Facebook personas created ahead of the 2013 elections, which exposed sensitive developments within Zanu (PF) and attracted hundreds of thousands of readers – and consequently security sector attention. A high-level CIO team last week briefed on developments regarding the investigations.
“A team from the technical department went to see HE (His Excellency, Mugabe) and appraised him on what they have discovered so far. He (Mugabe) told them to finalise the investigations urgently and has taken a very keen interest in the matter,” said one of the sources.
“The technical department and supporting offices in CIO are working flat out on the issue. They are holding long meetings with senior police officers almost daily,” he added.
The other source said one of the ministers had fallen out with both the CIO and the police but still had friends in the army, particularly in the Military Intelligence (MI) unit.
“His days are numbered. It is now clear that he was one of the active agents in the creation of Baba Jukwa. He still talks to the army, but all the other security departments want to do away with him. Because of that, army intelligence has been left out of the investigations,” he said.
Relations between MI and CIO are reported to have worsened due to differences of opinion on how to treat the Baba Jukwa saga.
“The military and intelligence have never been the best of friends, particularly over who of the two heads (Constantine Chiwenga, army, and Happyton Bonyongwe, CIO) is more influential, but this Baba Jukwa thing has intensified the animosity,” said one of the sources.
While MI has been carrying out its own investigations since the establishment of the Baba Jukwa page early last year, it remains clueless, said the second source, and seems to believe the minister’s claim that the Facebook platform was run by two South Africa-based journalists, Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio.
Both journalists have denied involvement in the project and appointed a local lawyer, Obert Gutu, to clear their names.
Even though the four are the main focus of investigations, the sources said, numerous other Zanu (PF) stalwarts were involved in leaking party secrets to Baba Jukwa and would face disciplinary action ahead of a crucial party elective congress to be held later this year. The Zimbabwean has revealed in recent weeks that some senior Zanu (PF) politicians aligned to Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa were using the sensational exposes to fight a factional war ahead of congress by soiling the names of their rivals through the media.
But the plot seems to have boomeranged as the politicians who started the exposes are the ones who are now the prime suspects in current security sector investigations. Sources said members loyal to Vice President Joice Mujuru would also be investigated.
Zanu (PF) Information Secretary, Rugare Gumbo, and Didymus Mutasa, who is in charge of administration, have both acknowledged that their party resolved to investigate the individuals behind Baba Jukwa. But neither responded to repeated calls from this newspaper.