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Baba Jukwa targets bay for blood

ONE of the journalists alleged to be behind the Baba Jukwa Facebook page is a former Bulawayo policeman and a reporter with Outpost Magazine.
Baba Jukwa targets bay for blood
South Africa-based Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio have reportedly been running the social media project, claiming to be a high-ranking Zanu-PF official who was unhappy with events in the revolutionary party. The Facebook page hit international headlines ahead of elections last year after claiming to be a mole in President Mugabe’s inner circle.

Ncube, who denies the allegations, worked in the police public relations department in Bulawayo as a sergeant before moving to the neighbouring country.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo yesterday welcomed the outing of Baba Jukwa but said it was sad that journalists had been involved in the scam.

“We are happy that the culprits have been identified. If there are more of them, we hope they will be exposed and be brought to book. This is a sad episode for the journalism profession and the social media. We do not expect such behaviour from our journalists. We hope that the case will be treated accordingly to its logical conclusion,” said Cde Gumbo.

He said the Baba Jukwa character scandalised influential people and created unnecessary discomfort within Zanu-PF and the government.
He, however, said there was need for thorough investigations before further steps were taken. One of Baba Jukwa’s victims, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said the culprits should be held accountable for their actions.

“It is unfortunate that some people believed Baba Jukwa’s reports. The Facebook page was just designed to assassinate people’s characters and destroy Zanu-PF and the government.

“People in leadership positions should however accept that there will always be malice to damage their reputations and families. It is a good thing that the culprits have been unmasked and I hope they will pay for their actions,” said Cde Kasukuwere.
Baba Jukwa claimed at one point last year that Cde Kasukuwere was involved in “state-sponsored” political violence.

He received as many as 50 insulting phone calls on the day the allegations were posted.
Legal experts have however said while it was difficult to initiate proceedings against the previously unknown character (s) in the past, legal action could now be taken now since the pair’s identities have been revealed.

Reacting to the revelations, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said he was relieved that the unmasking of the real characters behind the scandal has proved that they were not a disgruntled Zanu-PF Politburo member contrary to some beliefs that the dispatches were an inside job.

Ncube told friends on Facebook yesterday that he had nothing to do with Baba Jukwa and later posted a joint statement with Chimoio saying they had engaged lawyers.

“In the wake of a print and social media frenzy linking us to the faceless Facebook political character, Baba Jukwa, to us, we would hereby like to notify that we (Mxolisi Ncube and Mkhululi Chimoio) have, with immediate effect, handed over the case to our lawyer, Obert Gutu of Gutu and Chikowero Attorneys-at-Law, who shall institute legal action on our behalf.

“This also means we will therefore, not comment on this matter, without first seeking advice from our lawyer, who shall act on our behalf from now until the matter is finalised.”

The person(s) running the “Baba Jukwa” Facebook page have been busy removing posts from the account that can potentially lead to criminal charges being raised.

Hackers at the weekend identified Chimoio and Ncube as the people running the page and some of the more damaging, ludicrous and potentially criminal posts have been deleted.

These include the bald claims that President Mugabe was planning on poisoning thousands of young Zimbabweans who were to attend his annual Children’s Party ahead of the 2014 February 21st Movement celebrations, and those with private cellphone numbers of public officials.

Baba Jukwa at one point posted a cell number that he claimed belonged to President Mugabe, something that Presidential spokesperson George Charamba laughed off.

Posting of private cell numbers could lead to criminal charges under telecommunications laws, as the posts were apparently designed to lead to harassment of the people in question.

Baba Jukwa has also on several occasions claimed President Mugabe’s death and/or being in a coma at a Singapore medical facility; things that immediately turned out to be lies.

Further, Baba Jukwa made several posts in which he accused people of murder, assault, rape, theft and fraud, among other things, which could fall foul of criminal defamation laws.

While Baba Jukwa has lost control of the e-mail account to the unidentified hackers, he/they retain(s) control of the Facebook page, and indications last night were that the account was being cleaned up to remove the damaging posts.

The claims related to certain individuals dying “soon” — including Prof Moyo — have not come to pass, something that led people to start questioning Baba Jukwa’s credibility more than a year ago.

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