Baba Jukwa's avatar
A taste for whistleblowing, recently reignited by Edward Snowden, has spread down to the bottom of Africa into the corrupt corners of Zimbabwe. With less than two weeks to go until the nation attempts to topple Robert Mugabe from a 33-year rule of terror and violence, an anonymous Facebook figure has been creating quite a stir.
Baba Jukwa claims to be a powerful member in Mugabe’s political party, ZANU-PF, who is trying to bring the party down from the inside. He has been using Facebook to publish detailed allegations of corruption and violence, including the supposed perpetrators' names and phone numbers and disclosing dishonest election tactics. This is all in an attempt to galvanize the opposition party, MDC, into securing a victory that many believe is long overdue.
Baba Jukwa labels himself “a concerned father, fighting nepotism and directly linking the community with their leaders, government, MPs, and ministers.” Just last month, in an attempt to deliver truth and reestablish Zimbabwe’s democratic right to a transparent government, he partnered with WikiLeaks.
Since Baba Jukwa started spilling secrets, the government has brought in ITC experts from China and Israel, and employed an Australia-based hacker/spy to try to identify the self-described saboteur. But Baba Jukwa's identity is still a mystery and his supporters continue to multiply, regardless of the brutal consequences Zimbabweans often face for opposing Mugabe.
Edward Chindori-Chininga's car after the crash.
In early June, Baba warned ZANU-PF MP Edward Chindori-Chininga that he was suspected of being Baba Jukwa. Shortly afterward Chininga died in a "car accident." But Baba Jukwa went to the scene of the accident and posted pictures alongside an allegation that Chininga had actually been strangled to death, and then placed in the driver’s seat of his deliberately crashed vehicle. Since then Baba Jukwa’s Facebook posts have become vengeful and aggressive, with more safety warnings being made to prominent MPs, human rights lawyers, and MDC members.
The minister of Youth Development, Saviour Kusukuwere, was "outed" by Baba Jukwa as being one of Chininga’s murderers (as well as a raging homosexual, God forbid). Now Baba Jukwa has promised to even the score. A post earlier this month saw Baba threaten to kidnap one of Kusukuwere’s children from school. He said, "We will hold that child in lieu of any act of violence he perpetrates. If he kills anyone, he will not see his kid again. Be warned you murderous Saviour. It's now fire with fire, blood with blood."
Baba Jukwa has also published claims regarding Mugabe’s health, announcing that he is dying of prostate cancer and is undergoing regular chemotherapy in Singapore. This reinforces information released by WikiLeaks a few years ago, which stated Mugabe had been given until the end of 2013 to live.
Screen grab from Baba Jukwa's Facebook page.
Baba often sympathizes with Mugabe, saying that he is old and ready to step down. But the big guns at the top of ZANU-PF are apparently forcing him to retain power out of fear of what will happen to them if democracy is reinstated and justice is served. Air Marshall Perence Shiri, Mugabe’s cousin and one of the main instigators behind the Gukurahundi massacres, which led to the deaths of around 20,000 Matabele people, is said to have stopped attending government meetings in case he’s outed by Baba Jukwa. He, among many other corrupt ZANU-PF members, are being threatened to stop their violent command or Baba will tell the world everything he knows. And he sure seems to know a lot.
Baba Jukwa’s main concern is that the country is being run by old men who are still bearing the heavy grudge of colonial rule. He believes power should be put into younger hands—so I spoke to a member of opposition party MDC’s Youth Wing, Malcolm Machiridza, about the upcoming elections scheduled for July 31.
Malcolm said, “Whether Mugabe is ready or not, the people will decide Zimbabwe’s future. The people of Zimbabwe, under free and fair elections, will choose. The president is 90 years old, for crying out loud, I think that in any country that is way past the age of retirement. And I think that the president needs to rest, and the people of Zimbabwe should give him a rest.”
Baba Jukwa has played an integral part in the MDC campaign whether intentionally or not. Malcolm explained, “Baba Jukwa’s efforts to bring corruption and impunity to an end in Zimbabwe help us. I believe Baba Jukwa stands as a voice for the voiceless in our country. So I believe that Baba Jukwa has somewhat inspired the people who were previously disenfranchised with the opportunity to voice how they feel about everything that’s going on in government.” He then added, “What Baba Jukwa is doing is pointing out corruption and showing the people who are the perpetrators of this corruption. We meet with the people who want a government that is democratic and transparent, which Baba Jukwa is propagating for them. So I think that we are meeting at a point of interest, a common interest, and I would say that we are gaining a lot of votes, maybe, through his publication of the gospel of transparency.”
There’s a hopeful atmosphere in Zimbabwe leading up to these elections, regardless of the fresh fears in everybody’s minds. 2008 saw ZANU-PF host a bloody campaign, and then terror rained down on Zimbabweans in the most brutal post-election violence the country had ever seen. But Malcolm said, “I choose courage over fear in 2013, I choose the Movement for Democratic Change. Of course sometimes I feel threatened that my life might be at stake, but that is where I get my courage from, to keep fighting the war for a democratic Zimbabwe.”
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