My take on Baba Jukwa


Baba Jukwa has been a sensation since he came onto the scene four months ago. But I have an uncanny feeling that either he will come out in the open or he will disappear shortly after 31 July. I just feel so because he or she will have accomplished his task. So with elections only eight days away, I just felt let me have my last take on him.

A story in one of the overseas publications, ululating how he was embarrassing the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front because of his exposes- got me asking myself who is this Baba Jukwa?

It was not his expose that excited me because I have always believed that this is all propaganda to keep ZANU-PF on the map rather than to discredit the party. It was the reference to his signature.

The article said Baba Jukwa always signs his exposes Asijiki- a Shona word for “We will not retreat”- another translated it as “No going back”. What got my attention was the factual error. This has become a trend with most stories about Zimbabwe.

Being someone who knows both main languages of Zimbabwe, and the official one, there is no way- Asijiki can be a Shona word. It doesn’t just jell. In Shona “asi” would be “hati”. And jika from which jiki is derived has a totally different meaning in local NdebeIe than it has in Zulu.

For it to mean “We will not retreat” one would be using the Zulu meaning and only Zimbabweans who have lived in South Africa use that word that way. Maybe someone with deep Ndebele might use it, because people from Matebeleland learnt Zulu in class years ago and not Ndebele but not our locals who now even say ngizakurova.

But reading through the postings Baba Jukwa is a ZANU-PF insider who is still within the party, higher up, probably in the politburo. Baba Jukwa is a prolific writer, equally comfortable with spicing his postings with equal doses of Shona and Ndebele.

I have got an itchy feeling that my guess would be 51 percent correct, but then I would not like to be wrong because people in Zimbabwe are now suing high and I don’t have any cash.

But the way the world has swallowed his bait, I am increasingly getting confident that Baba Jukwa is also internet savvy. He knows who his friends are and their geographical locations, and of course feeds them the trash they want to hear.

I could be wrong, but my gut feeling tells me something is not right. This is a do-or-die election, but the people that be are taking it so casually, as if they are ten steps ahead. To add more spice to the story they even claimed there was a US$300 000 prize for his head.

Who knows? It’s only eight days to go. But I can bet, we will be in for a big surprise no matter who wins.


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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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