HARARE – Suspended Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi yesterday slammed the State for deliberately infringing on his constitutional right to be tried within a reasonable time.
He protested against the State for continually postponing the matter under the guise of conducting extra-territorial investigations.
The 28-year-old, believed to be linked to the shadowy Facebook character Baba Jukwa, is facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected government, banditry, insurgency and demeaning the office of the President.
He is jointly charged with his brother Phillip.
Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira sought a further postponement of the matter to March 30 on the basis that there were extra-territorial investigations yet to be conducted.
Mashavira produced an email conversation between Tawanda Zvekare and an American representative in which he sought mutual legal assistance from the United States of America (USA).
Kudzayi’s lawyer Admire Rubaya objected to the postponement and applied for removal from remand of accused persons until the State is genuinely prepared to proceed with the case.
“…that the State is indicating that there are extra territorial investigations yet to be done is a tired submission. You will note from the record that they have been proffering the same reason since last year when we started making these applications,” said Rubaya.
“State has applied for mutual legal assistance but it is not a secret that USA and Zimbabwe relations are frosty. I would want to live to see that response; probably State will get such response when we are all gone.”
Rubaya questioned why no one else was arrested in connection with the Baba Jukwa saga yet the police possessed a list of co-accused persons at the time of Kudzayi’s arrest.
“The State has been exposing itself that they are not sure of what they are charging the accused persons,” he said.
“It is clear that they have no cogent reason to further remand accused persons. They are not doing anything but trampling on accused persons right to be tried within a reasonable period.”
Harare magistrate Milton Serima will pass ruling on the matter on Monday.
Kudzayi and Phillip are accused of trying to unseat a constitutionally-elected government through the shadowy Baba Jukwa Facebook character.
According to State papers, Kudzayi planned and organised with some of his accomplices under the banner of the “Gunda Nleya Brigade” and “Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army” to overthrow the government by “unleashing war”.
It is further alleged that Kudzayi posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which reportedly encouraged rebellion against the government if the general elections were to be rigged.
Kudzayi allegedly created a gmail account titled email@example.com with Phillip and other accomplices.
They allegedly posted articles on the social networking platform suggesting that they had a Dare Rechimurenga or War Council in place. The council was reportedly on the ground studying and monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe.
The State also advised the court of its intention to merge the two brothers’ record with that of Romeo Musemburi, a University of Zimbabwe student, facing similar charges.