Facebook has turned down a plea by Zimbabwe’s ruling party to close the account of a well-informed mole who has been posting damaging revelations about President Mugabe.
The anonymous internet whistle-blower who calls himself Baba Jukwa, has a record 239,000 followers and over 250.000 likes on facebook . He is believed to be operating from within the heart of the regime. His page has been viewed more than a million times.
Attempts by Mugabe to track down Zimbabwe’s ‘wikileak’s Asanje’ have so far failed and he has now offered $300,000 reward for anyone who unmasks the facebook fiend.
President Mugabe has apparently appealed to his Chinese friends for technical support to censor the site and identify the user who is dishing the dirt on his regime on Facebook.
The anonymous mole describes himself as “a concerned father, fighting nepotism and directly linking community with their leaders, government, MPs and Ministers.”
His daily postings since March have accused government ministers of corruption and senior police chiefs of brutality. He also publishes private mobile phone numbers of people involved.
Last month, Baba Jukwa posted a warning about an assassination plot against former government minister, Edward Chindori- Chininga, who was suspected by Zanu-PF of leaking information.
A few days after Baba predicted, Mr Edward died when his car hit a tree head-on; no other car was involved. The crash happened shortly after the ex-minister publicly criticised Zimbabwe’s controversial diamond industry.
“I told you there will be body bags coming this year… The war has begun,’’ Baba Jukwa posted on his wall after the minister died. It is claimed that he was suspected of being a Baba Jukwa’s informant. Mugabe’s opponents have died from similar unexplained circumstances in the past.
A US-based Zimbabwean, Nomatter Khumalo, who follows Baba Jukwa’s updates, believes it would be too unsafe for the blogger to be based in Zimbabwe. Instead, he says, the mole probably lives abroad and draws on a network of informants, who are probably not even known to each other.
“We do not have Holy Cows any more in Zimbabwe,” he said. “From murders, diamond deals, torture camps, corruption, vote rigging, power struggles, international thoughts and secrets, everything gets to be known. We feel like there are no more secrets, that we really can be free” Khumalo said.
Lanre Abimbola, posted on his twitter wall: “Zimbabwean dollars is such a useless money, why would anyone bother to find him?”
“Anybody interested in Zimbabwe should be following Baba Jukwa’s Facebook page – he’s annoying people in high places” twittered one account user called CookSister.
As Zimbabwe prepares for general elections on July 31, speculations about the identity of Baba Jukwa has reached fever-pitch.
One of Mugabe’s fiercest critics is Seka Holland. Since the 2008 power sharing agreement between Mr Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Ms Holland has been the co-minister of state for national healing, reconciliation and integration. She believes the Baba Jukwa postings are part of a “campaign strategy by some local and international people who would have their fingers in Zimbabwean politics all the time. “Baba Jukwa could be anybody” Ms Holland said.
Security officials started voting on July 14th in early elections since they will be providing security on the day of the vote
Southern African Development Community (SADC) election monitors are already in the country to monitor the elections
Permission was denied to EU and US based elections observers as retaliation against sanctions imposed on president Mugabe and some of his close cronies. This is a typical posting by Baba Jukwa which appeared yesterday
“Zimbabwe I have heard your cries that you want to speak to Rita Mukarau who is helping Zanu to rig elections. Wake her up and put her in her place even if she switches off her phone first thing morning call her and drop her all sorts of messages. If she changes her numbers, I will give you her new number. Please phone Rita Mukarau on 0773514326”