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Editor's Brother Remanded in Custody Over Facebook Posts

The magistrate also advised Phillip to approach the High Court for bail saying he has no jurisdiction to hear a bail application in a third schedule offence.

Phillip Kudzayi, the elder brother of detained Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi, was arraigned before a Harare magistrate today facing terrorism charges in connection with internet postings on social-networking site Facebook.

Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe ordered Phillip Kudzayi to join his young brother and editor of the state-controlled Sunday Mail weekly, Edmund Kudzayi, who was this week remanded in custody following his arrest last week on allegations of conspiring to subvert a constitutionally-elected government.

Just like his brother Edmund, Phillip is also facing charges of communicating or publishing falsehoods that are prejudicial to the state.

Magistrate Chikwekwe ordered Phillip to return to court on July 7th, the same date that the Sunday Mail editor was remanded to. The magistrate also advised Phillip to approach the High Court for bail saying he has no jurisdiction to hear a bail application in a third schedule offence meaning that the offence is serious.

Tawanda Zvekare prosecuted while Phillip was represented by Admire Rubaya.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mail editor’s bail application is expected to be heard in the High Court tomorrow. In his papers before the High Court, Edmund Kudzayi, who denies being the faceless Facebook character called Baba Jukwa, says he is being victimized.

He alleges that some unnamed top Zanu PF officials who were leaking information to the original Baba Jukwa instigated his arrest fearing that he would use his technological expertise to expose them.

The Sunday Mail editor claimed that he was hired by the defense ministry and the police as a consultant to expose Baba Jukwa and those behind the shadowy character but was arrested after he provided some information that he obtained using his technological expertise.

Edmund claims that those people who turned the tables against him were doing so in order to impress President Robert Mugabe, following his recent public spat with Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and other Zanu PF officials that he called “weevils” trying to destroy the former revolutionary party from within.

The state alleges that the Kudzayi brothers conspired to revolt against the government if Zanu PF had rigged the national elections held last year which were disputed by the MDC-T. If convicted, the Kudzayi brothers face life imprisonment.

In other news, the MDC formation of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai claimed that several government departments are not remitting taxes to local authorities resulting in poor service delivery in all municipalities countrywide.

The MDC-T’s secretary for local government, Blessing Chebundo, told journalists in Harare that local authorities have lost millions of dollars in unremitted taxes from government departments.

Chebundo also accused Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo of continuously interfering in the management of several local authorities countrywide.

Chebundo’s remarks followed a meeting held by Mr. Tsvangirai and all councilors elected under the MDC-T ticket countrywide.