This blog has been following the "Baba Jukwa Saga" which has played out over the internet for the past 2 years or so...
1. The Global Mystery: Who is Baba Jukwa...and will he/she spell the end of Robert Mugabe's 27 year rule of Zimbabwe?
2. Jukwa Update: After the Death of Chindori-Chininga....has Zanu Silenced the Baba Jukwa?
Basically a man somehow involved in the Zanu party of Zimbabwe which has been in power in Zimbabwe for over 30 years took the new technology of social networking to share pretty shocking information about the inner workings of that shady organization. People started to take him/her even more seriously as he/she predicted a dissenter of Zanu would be removed and surely enough this man was murdered soon after. It was interesting and sort of funny because the account was giving the personal cel-phone numbers of the politicians lambasted in the posts for the readers to call if they felt the need to express anger...which I'm sure was quite annoying for the politicians involved.
The account garnered at its peak 400,000+ "likes" yet it seems to be officially defunct as of now. The removal of the account seems to coincide with the arrest of a certain journalist.
Fishyness is abounds with the arrest in question as before being arrested the journalist seems to have written an incriminating letter and it seems somewhat odd that someone would voluntarily do such a thing...
A few days after the letter was published he was arrested. Has the Jukwa saga, which has morphed into a soap opera the whole world is following, finally reached its sad conclusion? It appears so.
The question now is how draconian the punishment will be. The journalist in question is on bail and facing charges of "attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government."
Now, I don't know if this guy is on the up and up or what his deal is or even if he really was Baba J ...all this article wants to really explore is what should the punishment be for sharing information in this new information age we are all living in?
Parallels to the "Snowden Saga"
In the first article I wrote on Baba J, I made a comment along the lines of "what a whacky country over there, surely an over-the-top manhunt like this would not happen in North America..."
...but surely enough a few week after writing that I had to eat my words something fierce as the Edward Snowden fiasco broke out which kind of made me feel a bit dumb for saying that something like that would not happen in North America.
For those unfamiliar with Snowden, he leaked NSA papers showing that surveillance of civilian activities by various government organizations are far more obtrusive and extreme than most people thought.
Personally, I wasn't surprised too much by the Snowden saga. We are all living in the information age and all of us are trying to access as much info as humanly possible...so why would anyone be surprised that governments and other organizations are trying to access as much info as possible too?
The shocking part is not the realization that information is being harvested and recorded by organizations such as the NSA or Stone Ghost, the shocking part in these matters is the punishment that is doled out to people leaking information to the public. If you prove to the public that your government is pretty Big Brotherish...what punishment do you deserve for that? To me it's a bit of a wash because most people knew the government was looking at their shit anyway so who even cares that some guy proved it?
I do 100% think that guys like Snowden, Bradley Manning and others did indeed break the law and should be reprimanded in some fashion. I mean they must have signed a document which said something to the extent of "you're going to be dealing with confidential/classified info in this organization that you cannot under any circumstances share with anyone" and they did indeed break that contract. The punishment however should be along the lines of termination from the organization, a steep fine, and maybe half a year in a white-collar prison and nothing really worse than that. These life-in-prison sentences they are talking about for these guys are fucking extreme and pretty draconian, I must say.
Bradley "Chelsea" Manning for example was sentenced to 90 years in prison for the information he put on the internet...or even Canadian Jeff Delisle who got 20 years for selling information to Russia. Those sentences come off as being pretty harsh, I find.
This is the information age and any dude, or chick, or tranny (Manning) with a computer can be an information super-node. Everyone is trying to access as much information as they can and no one whether government or civilian should be surprised that someone is using the technology in the information age to gather and share information.
The only point I really wanted to make here is that...it's a little draconian and old school for governments to imprison people they don't agree with. It is very very unhealthy for any society to treat dissent in such an extreme manner.
If you are dishin' out punishment for a legal breach of contract then fine...that makes sense...but if you are only applying the punishment to suppress non-violent dissent then that's a whole different can of worms, man.
In the recent cases of Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, Jeffrey Delisle...they indeed broke a promise and legally binding contract to not share the information they were intrusted with by the organization who employed them. Yet is 90 or even 20 years in the slammer a little too hardcore a sentence?
As for the supposed arrest of Jukwa, which in all truthfulness may very likely not even be the actual Baba Jukwa...we can only imagine how draconian and extreme the sentence will be for "attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government..."
...one by the way which has been ruling for over 30 years now.