The Zimbabwean whistleblower who goes by the pseudonym Baba Jukwa resurfaced this week to criticize the regime of President Robert Mugabe and to warn of coming political disappearances. Known as “Zimbabwe’s Julian Assange” to his followers, the anonymous blogger made his first posts on Facebook Thursday after a five-month absence from the social platform, where he’s made a name for himself as a whistleblower exposing the inner workings of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.
Mugabe’s regime is “desperate” and has tried every trick in the book to extract money from the Zimbabwean people, the blogger said in a post, predicting that agents of the secret police, known as the Central Intelligence Organization, would begin to go missing in the coming days. “You will not hear much of them and it will be like nothing has happened,” he said. “But their bodies will be turned into ashes.” The CIO’s chief, Happyton Bonyongwe, is currently at the center of a probe into the president’s much-publicized fall at the Harare airport last week. Bonyongwe was accused by a top official of “sleeping on duty,” according to a report by Zimbabwe’s Nehanda Radio.
Baba Jukwa gained prominence in the leadup to the July 2013 general elections, during which he posted detailed accusations about assassination plots and governmental corruption under Mugabe. The blogger accurately predicted the death of politician Edward Chindori-Chininga ahead of his fatal June 2013 car accident, which his family insisted was an assassination, according to Al Jazeera. Many of Baba Jukwa’s posts accuse officials of various crimes and urge regular Zimbabweans to hold politicians to account.
Mugabe’s government has made efforts to identify the blogger, believed to be a disgruntled former ZANU-PF member, and arrested two suspects back in July, reported Zimbabwean news outlet NewsDay. Many social media users greeted Baba Jukwa’s cryptic first post on Facebook with surprise, believing him to have been arrested. The popular Facebook page has more than 400,000 likes, more than four times the numbers of Mugabe’s official page.