By Staff Reporter
- Editor faces life sentence if convicted
- Blogger claimed to be a ZANU-PF “Deep Throat” Baba Jukwa
- Edmund Kudzai has been admittedly working for Prof Jonathan Moyo for years now
- President Mugabe recently accused Moyo of dividing Zanu PF by appointing editors sympathetic to MDC
- Kudzai is accused also of publishing falsehood in an article published before he joined Zimpapers (relating to claims that act of sexual violence had been committed to a member of Mugabe’s family)
- Critics believe that Kudzayi’s master Jonathan Moyo is alleged to belong to Zanu PF faction loyal to Mnangagwa
- Kudzayi’s arrest is alleged to be the work of Zanu PF faction loyal to Vice President Mujuru
- Kudzayi’s charges are political as police only have circumstantial evidence
Zimbabwe on Saturday laid attempted terrorism, insurgency and banditry charges against the editor of a state-run newspaper, accusing him of being an anonymous Facebook blogger who claimed to be a mole in President Robert Mugabe‘s ruling party.
Kudzayi, who was only appointed to his position in April, was arrested on Thursday, a week after Mugabe accused his information minister Jonathan Moyo of hiring journalists sympathetic to the opposition.
“Baba Jukwa”, the blogger, has more than 400,000 followers. He dished a daily stream of social tittle-tattle, outrageous personal slurs and explosive allegations, that gripped the country in the run-up to the July 31 poll. here
According to the charge sheet, Kudzayi was “attempting to commit an act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism” as well as “subverting the constitutional government”.
All the charges carry a life sentence upon conviction.
Kudzayi was not asked to plead and will appear in court again on Monday. He also faces two lesser charges of insulting the president and publishing falsehood
Zimbabwe routinely arrests editors from the private media under tough security and media laws, but no journalist working for a government-controlled paper had been affected in the last decade.
Mugabe last week branded Information Minister Moyo a “devil incarnate”, accusing him of using government-controlled newspapers to sow divisions within the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Zimbabwe’s private media outlets say an intense battle within ZANU-PF on who will succeed the 90-year-old Mugabe has sucked in the state-owned press.
Deputy President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangangwa have emerged as the front runners, but Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, says the contest is open to all party leaders.
Please see Kudzayi’s charge sheet below: