SUNDAY MAIL editor Edmund Kudzayi, arrested two weeks ago over his alleged links to the shadowy, but popular Facebook blogger Baba Jukwa, was yesterday granted $5 200 bail by High Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa.
CHIEF COURT REPORTER
Kudzayi (28) is facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutional government by waging “cyber terrorism” against the Zimbabwean government using the Baba Jukwa page.
The charges involve banditry, insurgency and demeaning the office of the president for allegedly running an online campaign against the government under the page .
His bail is, however, coupled with stringent conditions among them peporting twice a day at CID Law and Order in Harare, surrender of his Gmail account password, passport, title deeds of his parents’ Hillside house, not to interfere with State witnesses and residing within the 40km radius from Harare Main Post Office until the matter has been finalised.
Responding to Kudzayi’s bail application by his lawyer Admire Rubaya, Chief Law Officer Tawanda Zvekare said they feared he was a flight risk.
“In this instant case, applicant is a flight risk since he is well connected with the outside world having lived and worked in the United Kingdom for a very long time and is facing very serious charges which should he be convicted is likely to face a lengthy period of imprisonment,” Zvekare said.
“It is conceded that the bail conditions proposed by the defence may well allay the fears of the State that applicant will not stand trial . . .”
After being denied bail at the magistrates’ court, a week ago, Kudzayi challenged the State to engage Facebook owners Mark Zuckerburg and his firm to ascertain the Internet protocol address of the person who set up the account as well as its administrators, contrary to the police claims.
In his founding affidavit filed at the High Court, Kudzayi claimed he was being framed by the State using the information that he personally provided after being requested to do so by unnamed officials from the Defence ministry.
He argued that the Gmail account which was created for the administration of Baba Jukwa’s Facebook account was set up while he was in the United Kingdom.
He said the Econet line had not yet been acquired by his brother Phillip then.
In a related matter, Phillip who was also arrested on the same allegations, is today expected to appear at the High Court for bail application which could not be heard yesterday.
Zvekare told the court that the State did not have ample time to go through the “voluminous court application” in order to file a proper response to Phillip’s application.