FORMER Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi , arrested last year on charges of plotting to commit acts of banditry and insurgence has been rewarded with a plum job as Zimpapers group online editor, Newzimbabwe.com has reported.
However, indications yesterday were that the State media group had withdrawn the offer, in a hazy development that has left the digital media geek in limbo, according to sources.
Edmund Kudzayi and his brother Philip were last year arrested and charged for allegedly being the masterminds behind a shadowy Facebook character Baba Jukwa that in the run-up to the 2013 harmonised elections released intimate nuggets of information about the government and ruling Zanu PF party.
The two were, however, later set free after the State repeatedly failed to furnish them with a trial date, prompting Kudzayi resume his duties at Herald House.
“Kudzayi had been given the Group Online Editor and what was left was official announcement, but following a high-level meeting today [yesterday]Innocent Gore will take over. The position would have given Baba Jukwa sole charge of all online content and that would have made him a very powerful person given the fact that the media is gravitating towards digital platforms,” a source said.
Herald Editor Caesar Zvayi refused to comment, referring questions to group chief executive officer Pikirayi Deketeke or head of human resources Herbert Simemeza.
Deketeke was not available for comment while Simemeza said nothing had been finalised yet.
Edmund Kudzayi would not be drawn on the development but he confirmed his departure to NewZimbabwe.com Tuesday night and simply said: “I have left Zimpapers to pursue other interests.”
The group also made more changes in the aftermath of a decision to fire over a hundred employees using the July 17 Supreme Court ruling.
Limukani Ncube has been appointed Sunday News editor while Tumeliso Makhurane is returning to Harare as deputy editor of The Herald. “The Edmund Kudzayi issue is hazy; nobody really knows what is happening. He was until today in charge of the digital platform but then there seems to have been a change of heart but there is no official communication yet. There could be a statement later today to that effect,” a source said.
Makhurane was appointed Sunday News editor in 2013 from his then position as Herald senior assistant editor.
“There is no position yet regarding Ncube, Gore and Makhurane and there is also no position regarding Kudzayi. I cannot really confirm these things at the moment,” Simemeza said early yesterday.
Edmund Kudzayi, who was reportedly parachuted from his then base in the United Kingdom to take charge of Zimpapers’ weekend flagship, The Sunday Mail by then Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, still has the “cyber-terrorism” charge hanging over his head.
As the internal fights for succession within Zanu PF threatened to boil over, Moyo’s links to Edmund Kudzayi almost had the Higher Education Minister fired after President Robert Mugabe labelled him a “weevil”.