Inside Madzibaba Ishamea's den

HARARE - Members of the Madzibaba Ishamea Mufani apostolic sect yesterday narrated the rampant abuse in their church, including forced marriages, virginity testing and the deity status enjoyed by their revered leader.

Madzibaba Ishamea is on the run after his followers battered police officers and journalists at their shrine in Harare’s Budiriro suburb last Friday.

Although dozens of sect members have been arrested, many, who include the husband of a tearful wife who opened up to the Daily News, are still hiding from the long arm of the law.

The Daily News caught up with a family, which requested anonymity for fear of reprisals,  revealing that they had been barred from taking their sick children to hospital.

“We are not allowed to take children to hospital and my husband is a very violent man, so please don’t use our pictures,” said the wife from Whitecliff, speaking at the Apostolic Church Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) offices in central Harare.

According to the wife, her husband conducted regular virginity tests on their 18-year-old daughter, who fled to Namibia last week after her father had forced her into a polygamous relationship.

The distraught mother said she had three other children, one of whom has a three-week deep cut on his thigh, but cannot go to hospital because of the church’s doctrine.

“I have never gone to school, but still I hope that one day I will,” said the injured 10-year-old boy, who fell off a bicycle. He said he only hears of television from neighbours because their church has banned the modern gadget.

“I joined this church in 1994 when it was led by Madzibaba Nehemia,” she said.

“Things changed when he died and Madzibaba Mufani took over, bringing new laws. When my daughter refused to marry an elderly man, she was beaten with clenched fists because we believe that a person should get married before she gets to 18 and achida asingade, musikana anofanirwa kuroorwa asati apfuura makore iwayo nekuti akadarika anenge akomba (whether a girl wants to get married or not, when she reaches the age of 18 she must get married, that is our practice).”

She dropped out of school when she was doing Form Two simply because, according to the church “god” has opposed to western education, which he claimed was polluting their doctrine.

“I completed my ‘O’  Levels, but all my three children  are not going to school because the church says education is unholy,” the distraught mum said.

“I have tried to reason with my husband and whenever I do that, I am always beaten. These days, I only follow him out of fear,” she said with a crackling voice.

The apostolic sect is strict on virginity.

“A lot of women have been dumped vachinzi maravhuza (waste material) since they will have had slept with other men before,” she said.

Since Madzibaba Ishamea got full reins at the church, academic certificates and national identity documents have been burnt, women have been forced into marriages and children dropped out of school, the mum said. She said her husband had become even more violent.

“He, like all men in the church, believes that Ishamea is a ‘god’ who communicates directly with God, thus whatever the church leader says is law,” she told the Daily News.

“I only go to that church now because of force. At one point, I reported my husband to the police and he spent three months in jail.

“When he returned, he was even more violent. Now he says he fears no one including the police because he says only his god Ishamea tells him what to do.”

Explaining the fracas on Friday, she said to them, the church is a holy place that cannot be invaded by non-believers.

“They say the hands of the soldiers and the police are contaminated by the blood of innocent people (and) are therefore not welcome in the church,” she said.

On Friday, she said she was not at the church’s shrine but her husband, who is a vendor, was.

Johannes Ndanga, president of ACCZ, who is accused of having provoked the vapositori to fly into a rage, said he derives his authority from the top echelons of the ruling administration.

Vice President Joice Mujuru is the patron of ACCZ and President Robert Mugabe has on several occasions removed his shoes each time he has visited shrines of the vapositori.

“Politicians are not getting involved in these matters because there are political implications,” Ndanga told the Daily News. 

“Because of that, we could not just stand aside while people are abused.

“Although I had a gun, I did not use it because I thought they had listened to us. I could have fired three warning shots and another into the mob but I didn’t.”

Comments (20)

lthough I had a gun, I did not use it because I thought they had listened to us. I could have fired three warning shots and another into the mob but I didn't.” This is really a first to me. A bishop, calling himself man of god, carries a gun for what? Doesn't he trust the same god whom he claims to represent. I am sure his god is not the Almighty God who created heaven and earth and all its inhabitants. This Ndanga is a coward, why carry a gun when you are a man of god? It gobbles my mind. Modern day church leaders. Because the purpose of a gun is to kill. I guess the gun is to protect the tithes and offerings he takes from his congregates.

Positive Thinking - 3 June 2014

“Politicians are not getting involved in these matters because there are political implications,” Ndanga told the Daily News. Is Johannes Ndanga not a political clown? Urimumwe wavo iwe!

muzukuru - 3 June 2014

Ndanga wants to destroy Vapostori churches. Ndanga has become a prosecutor, judge and policeman. Ndanga, you are today's Saul. You are persecuting the church. Vapositori, ngatinamatei nezvemurume uyu. Mwari vanotikundisa.

Mahwani - 3 June 2014

Hanzi na Gamaliel, that learned Pharisee, that if these men wat are they doing are from God who are we to prosecute and persecute them. The Challenge is, I see another Kunonga in the mould of Madzibaba Ndanga. He should learn very fast kuti ndaasiyane nezvaanoita izvi. This is just the begining of his downfall. Mark my words. Y dd he in the first place went there with hodes of Policemen, journalists, it was preplanned. we saw it ku Bernad Mzeki Shrine where Kunonga was with his guys got protection from the Police agains Gandhiya

Wasu WeChipinge - 3 June 2014

This article is biased against VaPostori. It just vilifying mapostori. The journalist is an anti-VaPostori. Tell us exactly how the violence started. VaPostori havadi violence asi ukavadenha unozviona! Ndanga akanodenha MaPostori, mapurisa akavarova nebaton stick ivo vakati hende!

Kondo - 3 June 2014

The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad (Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad), known by its Hausa name Boko Haram (pronounced [bo?kò? hàrâm]; figuratively meaning "Western education is sin"), is a terrorist organization based in north eastern Nigeria, north Cameroon and Niger (and now probably in Budiriro.....Zimbabwe)- Wikipedia

Tozvireva - 4 June 2014

the law should take its course for those Budiriro residents who burnt the Vapositori's belongings. The scene reminded me of xenorphobic attacks in Jorburg. here in Zimbabwe things are done differently. we should not allow residents to take the duty of the police

justice - 4 June 2014

PLEASE,PLEASE SAVE THE PEOPLE FROM CRUELTY,ABUSE,RAPE,INTIMIDATION.THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL DISASTER,TSUNAMI.ITS NOW OR NEVER.LESSONS MUST BE LEARNT,CULPRITS BE SEVERELY PUNISHED.CHRISTIANITY IS BEING ABUSED,LATELY MEMBERS OF REVELATION CHURCH OF GOD,HILLBROW,JOBIRGHAD BEEN TOLD TO BRING SOIL FROM GRAVES,CONGREGANTS EATING GRASS,PRETORIA,JOBURG AND NO UNDERWEARS FOR WOMEN,MALAWI.WE NEED STRONG LEADERSHIP IN OUR COUNTRIES.

Tiny - 4 June 2014

PLEASE,PLEASE SAVE THE PEOPLE FROM CRUELTY,ABUSE,RAPE,INTIMIDATION.THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL DISASTER,TSUNAMI.ITS NOW OR NEVER.LESSONS MUST BE LEARNT,CULPRITS BE SEVERELY PUNISHED.CHRISTIANITY IS BEING ABUSED,LATELY MEMBERS OF REVELATION CHURCH OF GOD,HILLBROW,JOBIRGHAD BEEN TOLD TO BRING SOIL FROM GRAVES,CONGREGANTS EATING GRASS,PRETORIA,JOBURG AND NO UNDERWEARS FOR WOMEN,MALAWI.WE NEED STRONG LEADERSHIP IN OUR COUNTRIES.

Tiny - 4 June 2014

Mapurisa opinda musowe akapfeka bhutsu, Mapostori orova mapurisa, Madzibaba ofamba nepfuti, ahh, Otoshaya kuti zviri kufamba sei, pamwe kuda pfungwa dzacho ndidzo dzaa kunzvenga....

Dollar - 5 June 2014

The Bible is explicit when it describes last day events.There are a lot of churches these days, yet the irony is that morality, ethics,sprituality has nosedived!A lot of people are joing cults thinking they are joining churches.A serious christian should listen to God rather than men.But this calls for a raducal paradigm shift, from one of take it all to one of sola and tota scriptura.A mind that does not read the bible is easily deceived by the devil!!

Mazuva Ekupedzisira - 5 June 2014

Firstly, Ndanga was driving a Range Rover when he went to the shrine with the police. He also had a loaded gun with him too!!!!!! Mupostori andishamisa uyu.

Sinyoro Wenyoro - 6 June 2014

This Ndanga has become too big for his own shoes. Who is he?

Rutendo - 8 June 2014

vana havaendi kuchikoro, forced marriagescertificates burnt, eish wat kind of a church is this !!

mamoyo - 9 June 2014

May the Grace of God through the sacrificial work of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the sweet fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with the Vapositori now and forevermore. May everyone of them know that God loves them and that it is not their righteousness through parcels of laws that are being created by their that makes them holy. Rather it is Jesus' holiness that pervades all this. It is only Jesus who is holy and everyone's holiness draws from the Lord's account. Madzibaba ngaabve kumurairo nokuti wakauya nemuranda ainzi Moses asi Nyasha dzakauya naMwari pachake kubudikidza naJesu mwanakomana wake iyewo ari Mwari pachake. Mapositori ngatipepukei. Amen! Apa ndaparidzawo apa.

Kudakwashe - 10 June 2014

Wafamba naro kuda. While the police are doing what they know best with the Vapositori. Vamwe veChechi ngavabatsirewo hama idzi dzidzoke pagwara. Ko Kurasika kunowanikwaka asiwo nzira inogona kuwanikwa zvakare nearasika. Ko zvinotibatsirei kuti church yose iyo irasike isi takapeta maoko. MaBishop endai kushrine uko shoko rirohwe kwazvo Mapositori ayo azive magwaro nokuti shoko raMwari rinoti People perish because of lack of knowledge, Richibva ratizvekare Know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Gurai Kwande - 10 June 2014

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Treasure - 10 June 2014

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