President grills Gumbo on ‘Baba Jukwa’ links

President Mugabe has quizzed Zanu-PF secretary for information Cde Rugare Gumbo on why police have not interrogated him in connection with the Baba Jukwa case, when he co-opted the main suspect in the saga into the ruling party’s 2013 elections campaign.

At last Thursday’s Politburo meeting in Harare, Zanu-PF’s First Secretary and President sought an update on the Baba Jukwa issue.

The Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi and his brother, Phillip, are accused of being behind the shadowy Facebook character and are answering to charges of terrorism, subversion and undermining the authority of the President through the Facebook account.

Kudzayi and Zanu-PF deputy director of information Cde Psychology Maziwisa were brought into the party’s ranks by Cde Gumbo.

Kudzayi said as much in his warned and cautioned statement to the police during investigations into the Baba Jukwa case.

And last week the President asked Cde Gumbo why police had not interrogated him and yet he featured so prominently in the matter.

It is understood that Cde Gumbo, visibly in shock, stammered that he did not know Kudzayi personally.

Police have called in Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, and his Environment, Water and Climate counterpart, Saviour Kasukuwere, in connection with the issue.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba and investigating officer Asst Comm Crispen Makedenge were yesterday not reachable on their mobile phones for comment.

Efforts to also seek comment from Police Comm-General Augustine Chihuri, Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana and Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi also met no success last night.

Yesterday, Cde Gumbo confirmed that the police had never questioned him, and added: “I don’t know Kudzayi personally. He was brought in by Maziwisa – he is the one who introduced him to me. I don’t know him.

“I only know of his involvement in adverts which were designed for the July 31 elections. He was just part of people who were working in the adverts but I did not work with him. He was never recruited by Zanu-PF. I think I only met the guy once or twice. I have absolutely nothing to do with Kudzayi.”

At an earlier Politburo meeting when asked how Cde Maziwisa had been recruited, Cde Gumbo informed members that the move had been cleared by party secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa.

However, in June Kudzayi told police: “In February 2013 I anonymously released a set of online election adverts in support of Zanu PF. There was … interest in my identity by the Zanu-PF information department.

“At that time I was unwilling to directly engage for fear of compromising my business interests in the United Kingdom so I contacted an old friend Mike Nyambuya Jnr, the son of Major-General Mike Nyambuya, and asked him to visit Zanu-PF HQ as an intermediary and find out what they wanted.

“He met Psychology Maziwisa the Zanu-PF deputy director of information who expressed an interest in engaging my media services in the development of election advertising material for Zanu-PF. I agreed and was immediately put in contact with Maziwisa.

“A few weeks later I received a phone call from Rugare Gumbo expressing a keen interest in my work; I subsequently met him and was deployed to work with Team Zanu-PF.”

A political analyst yesterday said it was “odd” that police had not quizzed Cde Gumbo despite Kudzayi’s statement, and the fact that he occupied a very senior position in the Zanu-PF hierarchy – particularly dealing with information.

“‘Baba Jukwa’ always said he had sources high up in Zanu-PF and surely it would only make sense for the police to interrogate all the senior officials with whom the accused is said to have interacted with closely.

“It is also interesting that ‘Baba Jukwa’ verbally abused and vilified senior officials starting with the President himself, and including Ministers Moyo and Kasukuwere and senior army officers. However, there was no vilification for the man in charge of Zanu-PF’s information department.

“It would be good for police to assist in ensuring there is greater clarity in this matter.”

Meanwhile, Cde Gumbo is understood to be coming under increasing pressure to “stop acting like a faction spokesperson and start acting like the party spokesperson”.

Several Politburo members who spoke to The Sunday Mail following the Politburo meeting said Cde Gumbo was being highly selective in representing the outcome of party deliberations.

“More and more of us believe that he is on a frolic of his own. He reports some things to the media, leaves out others, changes others still. He has become a factional spokesperson rather than a party spokesperson,” said one Politburo member.

Another added: “After the last meeting, he briefed the media only on those things he wanted the public to know. Then after that he took the unprecedented step of calling a Press conference in which he claimed the media were the ones being factional.”

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  • freedom_fighter

    It is obvious the bhora musango crew is connected to baba va jukwa. Chihuri is protecting abfellow factional member gumbo who also belongs to the mujuru faction

  • cinhema

    It seems that this Baba Jukwa was a product of some fierce tussle for power within a certain political party. A review of his works show that Jukwa’s supposed revelations were tailored to advance the interests of a faction.Zimbabweans were mighty fooled in the process.Now lets see how the whole tragicomedy climaxes.

  • Shanngu

    Its quite disappointing that the herald’s editorial police has become a classroom essay where by you are told to write a composition about your last holiday. in all its articles it is confirming that if you are against grace you belong to a faction. what about ngwenas faction. so is it a crime not to like Mugabe’s unilateral grip to power and graces sudden assumption to power. grow up mhani. its understandable for private media to take sides not herald its a public media. our tax money.

  • Sandura1

    All this to try and impress Mugabe. ZANU people are sick

  • freedom_fighter

    Ko iwe haunyari tsvaka rako zita

  • freedom_fighter

    Baba jukwa is part of the pvt media. Look at the ovt media it is fighting in mujuru’s corner. They love her more than they love tsvangiraI. Right now from gumbo mutasa sibanda they are feeding the daily news with Information even from politburo meetings. The daily new has the report presented by mai muchinguri given to them by mujuru people. These are clearly the same sources of the baba jukwa stories. Clearly zanu needs a wholesome change. Gumbo mutasa and mujuru must go. No sacred cows. Mr president you surrounded by people with evil intentions

    • garwe

      factional opinion

  • Imhepoyi

    It is interesting that the Zanu PF president is asking Gumbo why he has not been interrogated instead of asking police why they have not interrogated him. Is the party president suggesting that top Zanu PF officials are untouchable unless they ask ZRP to investigate them?

  • joemuda

    why gumbo had not been called by the police is not a question which gumbo should answer but the question should be directed to the police why they haven’t investigated gumbo. I, like many others, the police have never asked me questions about anything and i don’t know why. Only the police know why they have asked me anything about anything.

  • sexistings

    gumbo is now wanted cause he attended graduation party kuDotito soon tichanzwa kuti kwakaitwa Dotito declaration. VIVA ZANU NDEYEROPA VIVA ZAN NDEYEKUSHUPIKA vakaimba mushakabva Cde Elliot Manyika avo vaive political commissar webato.

  • yung nkruma

    as in any investigation we can never rule out anyone as a suspect before investigations are conducted, but in this case they is very little need to call upon Cde Gumbo, he job was to distribute out info 4 the basis of campaigning for the party to win, a job which he did well as the party won, his need for edmund was to do his task of giving out good adverts, which he did. if they indulged in anythin further than tht then he shld be called if not then thats why he hasnt been called most probably.