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HARARE – The investigating officer in the alleged terrorism case involving Sunday Mail Editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Phillip left Zimbabwe for the United States of America to meet social media networks and search engine providers.
Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge is expected to meet Facebook and Google officials to aid the State case.
This was revealed in court by prosecutor Miss Sharon Mashavira while responding to Edmund and Phillip’s application for refusal of further remand on charges of subversion and undermining the authority of the President through the Baba Jukwa Facebook account.
The application is the pair’s second bid for freedom after their first application for refusal of further remand was recently dismissed.
Edmund and Phillip, who are suspected to be administrators of the Baba Jukwa account, yesterday appeared before magistrate Mr Milton Serima for their routine remand and Miss Mashavira sought a further postponement of the matter to November 14.
She justified the postponement arguing that they were waiting for Asst Comm Makedenge’s return from USA where he went for the extra-territorial investigations.
“Your Worship Assistant Comm Makedenge has already left for the USA and will be back early next week. For now we are waiting for his return hence we cannot do anything as far as the issue of trial is concerned,” she said.
The pair, through their lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya, accused the State of taking them for a ride before challenging the State to produce proof showing that indeed Asst Comm Makedenge left the country for the USA.
Mr Rubaya said: “The State should have just produced a Cabinet authority which shows that Makedenge is in the United States. As of now I don’t want to say that the State is lying and at the same time I don’t want to believe that she is telling the truth. We might be talking of a Makedenge who is in the country. We will insist that the State is taking us for a ride.”
Mr Rubaya said that the State had not submitted any tangible reasons to keep the accused persons on remand.
“The same reasons which were said last time are the same reasons they are saying now. The State should have called at least an officer from Law and Order to tell this court how far they have gone with the investigations.
“The State was overzealous when these two initially appeared in court and the way they handled the matter appeared as if their trial would commence the following day, but now the steam has gone away. Let us give the State all the time in the world to investigate, but the accused persons should be removed from remand first,” he said.
In response, Miss Mashavira said that the pair’s application was misplaced.
“Your Worship, their application is misplaced considering that the accused persons were only arrested on June 24 and they have been on remand for only three months, which is contrary to the rule of practice for the accused to be on remand for a reasonable period of time for them to demand for a trial date,” she said.
“They are facing a complex matter, hence should remain on remand since the State is not just doing a lip service but making efforts to set their trial date.”
After hearing submissions from both counsels, Mr Serima rolled over the matter to Monday next week for ruling.
It is the State’s case that sometime in April 2013, Edmund hatched a plan with Phillip to overthrow the Government through unconstitutional means.
It is alleged that he created a Gmail account, email@example.com using a mobile phone line registered in Phillip’s name, but used by Edmund.
The two allegedly formed two separate groups called the Gunda Nleya Brigade and the Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army with the purpose of overthrowing the Government.
Edmund allegedly posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which encouraged rebellion against Government if the July 31 harmonised elections “were stolen”.-Herald