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Baba Jukwa demands freedom

SUNDAY Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Philip who are charged with treason, banditry and insurgency charges have, through their legal counsel Admire Rubaya, angrily accused the State of dithering and demanded their freedom.

The two are alleged to be the brains behind the Baba Jukwa Facebook character which rocked the country’s political landscape in the run-up to the July 2013 polls won by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party with a crushing majority.

However, the opposition have cried victory most foul, accusing Mugabe and his comrades of rigging the polls using an Israeli company known as Nikuv Projects.

The Kudzayis are alleged to have threatened an uprising in the event that the polls were rigged urging Zimbabweans to join a group then known as The Gunda Nleya Brigade and The Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army in preparation for the rebellion against Mugabe.

For the state prosecutor, Sharon Mashavira told Magistrate Milton Serima in October this year that a senior police officer, assistant commissioner Crispen Makedenge had left the country for the U.S to institute investigations on the matter, at Facebook and Google companies.

But in his application, defence attorney Rubaya said; “It is our humble submissions that the State is not taking us seriously.

“This lackadaisical attitude towards the matter should not be allowed, your worship. They were indicating to us that they were carrying out extra-territorial investigations and nothing has been done.

“The song that Makedenge (investigating officer) went to the U.S is an old song being sold to us all over again. Why should we continue to place the accused on remand; the court should show the State that there is nothing special about them.

“Your worship, we would not like to assume that the State is being used by political hawks. It is therefore our humble submissions that the State be given all the time that they want but meanwhile the accused be removed from remand and the State proceeds by way of summons.”

Opposing the application, prosecutor Mashavira argued that the Kudzayis needed to be patient as they had been on remand for a reasonable period of time, considering the complexity of the matter.

“We seek a further postponement on this matter to the 31st of January,” said Mashavira.

 

“There has been progress and we are still waiting to receive documentary exhibits from the U.S.

“We are of the view that it will not be in the interest of justice to remove the accused persons from remand, considering that they have been on remand for a reasonable period.

“The accused must remain on remand, pending trial.”

Magistrate Serima is expected to make his ruling on the matter on Tuesday.

The State claims that Edmund connived with Phillip and hatched a plan to unseat the government unconstitutionally.

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