HARARE – Suspended Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Rugare Gumbo was quizzed by the police over the weekend over his role in the Baba Jukwa Facebook saga.
Police sources said Gumbo was called in on Saturday to explain his involvement with the shadowy character. A senior police officer confirmed that Gumbo was called on Saturday in the afternoon at CID Law and Order and questioned for more than two hours before he was released.
The decision to summon Gumbo followed the arrest of The Sunday Mail Editor Edmund Kudzayi, who had been accused of being behind the faceless character. In the run-up to the July 31, 2013 harmonised elections, Kudzayi worked in the Zanu-PF information and publicity department which Gumbo superintended.
When contacted tonight Gumbo declined to comment. “I have no comment to make to The Herald,” he said. President Mugabe recently quizzed Gumbo why police had not interrogated him given that he co-opted Kudzayi, the main suspect in the case into the ruling party’s 2013 election campaign.
It is understood that Gumbo stammered saying he did not know Kudzayi personally. The man police claim funded the Baba Jukwa Facebook page, Chawarika Matongorere, has also added his voice to the call for an investigation of Cde Gumbo over his involvement in the saga.
In an interview from his base in South Africa a fortnight ago, Matongorere said if claims by the police that Kudzayi was behind the faceless character was to be believed, it would make sense to interrogate Cde Gumbo who employed him in the party’s information department.
Kudzayi and his brother Phillip are accused of being behind the shadowy Facebook character and the duo have been arraigned before the magistrate courts facing charges of terrorism, subversion and undermining the authority of the President through the Facebook account The brothers, who are on bail, were further remanded to December 8 when they appeared at the magistrates’ courts on Friday.
Gumbo was slapped with a five-year suspension last Thursday by Zanu-PF’s Politburo over his role in plans to depose President Mugabe, among a glut of other allegations.