A SOUTH Africa-based Zimbabwean wanted by the police for allegedly financing Baba Jukwa has dismissed the allegations as pathetic and farcical saying he had neither the wish nor the capacity to splash cash on anyone beyond his immediate family.
"At the rate the police are going, half of the population will be charged but they are nailing goats and leaving bulls to enjoy the green grass," Chawarika Matongorere said.
He warned the ZRP that the saga could end badly for police and whoever is setting them after innocent citizens.
"My attorney, Mr Obert Gutu has advised me to avoid speaking exclusively about this case but I happen to have a shocker for the police. I wait for my day in court. What if I reveal that a minister and a top Zanu PF official asked me to speak to Baba Jukwa? Will they still arrest me?"
Denying ever funding the Baba Jukwa project, Matongorere said even assuming he had the resources, he would rather spend the money on charity or his family.
"How can I fund a faceless character on Facebook and ignore my own family suffering back home? I am an economic refugee here (in South Africa). I am not enjoying foreign life and police must stop harassing citizens. Even if I had money to spare, surely I would have spent it wisely like donating to charity or buying stock market shares – not buy into Baba Jukwa's project."
Police have been adding new names to the list of the Baba Jukwa suspects by the week since the arrest of Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Phillip Tawanda on allegations they were behind the Facebook page which scandalised Zanu PF and its leadership ahead of last year's elections.
The Kudzayi brothers have been charged with subverting a constitutional government or, alternatively, attempting to commit an act of insurgency. They deny the charges and are currently out of custody after securing bail at the High Court.
Following their arrest, police released a list of ten more individuals also wanted in connection with the saga, among them publishers of the Zimbabwean newspaper, Wilf and Trish Mbanga.
And on Friday ZRP national spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba appealed for information from ordinary Zimbabweans which could lead to Matongorere's arrest.
Matongorere admitted he was approached for funding by Baba Jukwa but said he turned him/them down.
"I'm very much aware that police are basing their allegations on emails they harvested from Baba Jukwa's hacked Gmail account. Yes, Baba Jukwa approached me looking for funding and it all ended in exchanging of emails – nothing more beyond that," he said.
He said the handling of the investigation had demonstrated the ZRP's incompetence. Instead of threatening and charging all and sundry, he suggested, police might have started by appealing to those with information about Baba Jukwa to anonymously assist investigations.
"I thought they would have set up say an email address or a mobile phone number where suspects in the Baba Jukwa's project would willingly call or email and confess their participation. In the event these suspects rebuffed the offer, the police would then come down hard on them instead of the way they are doing this. This case also seems to show that our police are lagging behind in investigating cyber-related cases," he said.