Latest on Baba Jukwa saga


THE State yesterday filed its response to a bail application by detained Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi who is accused of attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government and undermining the President's authority.

Edmund's bail application will be heard tomorrow at the High Court. He also faces another charge of violating the Firearms Act for keeping ammunition at an unsecure place.

The State's response came as Edmund's brother Phillip, who is facing the same charges, filed his application seeking bail at the High Court. On the main charge, Edmund is likely to be charged along with Phillip.

Chief Law Officer Tawanda Zvekare confirmed that the prosecution's response to Edmund's application was filed at the High Court before close of business yesterday.

"We have filed our response, but I cannot discuss the finer details of our position," said Zvekare, adding, "As of now the matter is still subjudice."

Through his lawyer Admire Rubaya, Phillip argued that he is a suitable candidate for bail.

Rubaya said although Phillip was facing serious charges, it would be in the interest of justice that he be released on bail pending trial.

He said chances were high that Phillip would be acquitted of the charges he was facing, saying his defence exposed the State's case as weak.

The lawyer said there was no direct evidence linking his client with the offence or the Facebook character Baba Jukwa.

"The State is gambling with the court just suspecting every Jack and Jill to be Baba Jukwa without evidence of such alleged connection. The State is clueless as to who exactly is behind the Baba Jukwa Facebook page and resultantly it is firing in the dark hoping that one of the bullets will hit the actual Baba Jukwa but such a process is counter productive as it will unnecessarily destroy the lives of innocent people," said Rubaya.

According to the prosecution, Phillip acquired an Econet line 0771 446 541 and created babajukwa using the line. He allegedly went on to create the Baba Jukwa Facebook account.

But Rubaya argued in the application that the sequence by the prosecution was untenable as Phillip acquired the Econet line around June 10, 2013.

"Baba Jukwa started postings as far back as around March 22, 2013 well before the line in question was activated on the Econet network, thus the foundation of the State case crumbles on that basis alone," he said.

Rubaya said Phillip got to know that he was wanted by police in connection with the charges while he was in Italy but came home and surrendered himself to the police.

"The State simply has a wrong man in custody. No wonder why applicant suspects that these are political machinations by certain people in the corridors of power who are desperate to resolve the Baba Jukwa mystery and along the way they are being a bit reckless arresting innocent people," said Rubaya.

Rubaya offered for Phillip to be released on bail under strict conditions to allay the prosecution fears that he might abscond.

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