We were tortured: Vapositori

HARARE - Members of the of the Madzibaba Ishamea Mufani’s Johanne Masowe Church, who thumped police officers and journalists last week, have made sensational claims that they were tortured while in custody by vengeful law enforcement agents.

As 24 of them yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe, who quashed the State’s request for the rampaging sect members to be released on free bail, the Vapositori looked distraught and pitiful as they entered court.

“We were assaulted from the day of arrest at remand prison. The police fired shots at us though we never resisted arrest. We have been denied food for the past two days and only had little to eat this morning when we were coming to court,” one the them told the court.



IN SINGLE FILE: Part of the group of 24 Vapositori are escorted by anti-riot police and detectives into the Harare Magistrates' Courts. Pic: Annie Mpalume

The magistrate ordered an immediate investigation into the torture allegations.

But their plea for bail was rejected by Chikwekwe, who ruled that their release would jeopardise the course of justice, trigger public chaos and endanger their own safety.

Prosecutor Fransisca Mukumbiri, had made an application for the 24 Vapositori, facing charges of public violence, to be released on free bail, but Chikwekwe, who had previously denied bail to three others, ruled otherwise.

Emmanuel Sigauke, 37, Laston Marandure,  23, John Murahwa, 36, Taurayi Supiya, 36, Shadreck Mashonganyika, 25, Robert Paradzayi, 35, Tafa Chakwara, 36, Kudzanai Tichaona Kusekwa, 31, Cabson Chandaona, 43, Alton Makando, 31, Ashton Chinhoyi, 31, Abisha Mutandwa, 30, Brian Machingura, 18, Nathan Muparadzi, 39, Takavengwa Gwenzi, 46, Tichafa Madyegure, 41, Munaro Singadi, 42, Ziwanayi Nyatikonde, 30, Johannes Makumbe, 39, Paul Mupikata, 32, Simango Mharadza, 45, Tachiva Munemo, 37, Regis Bute, 31, and Clephas Muwona are charged together with Milton Murinda, Dennis Banda and John Mutasa, who are already in custody, over the same charges.

Speaking in Shona, the Vapositori, who ran amok last Friday when they bashed police officers and journalists, all raised concern over the conduct of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

While the State had opposed bail for the three, who appeared in court on Monday, it was not opposed to free bail to the 24 who will however, have to come back to court on June 16 after Chikwekwe had questioned the State’s flip-flopping.

“The State is not opposed to bail, however, the court is of a contrary view. The release of accused persons will not only jeopardise the course of justice but also threatens the safety of accused persons,” he said.

“They have all made serious allegations of assault and the State should investigate the matter. Accused persons should also be medically examined by a government doctor.”



Vapositori church members clash with anti-riot police in Budiriro.

“It seems the State is blowing hot and cold at the same time. Less than 12 hours ago, they successfully opposed bail for three other suspects facing a similar charge and I am surprised that they now want the accused freed on bail today,” added Chikwekwe.

The State’s initial bail opposition was based on the fact that the first three accused persons’ ages or names could not be ascertained — amid allegations that they were forced by their church leader to burn their national identity cards as part of their church doctrine.

There were also fears that the accused persons could take flight or interfere with investigations upon release.

Allegations against accused persons arose on May 30 at Budiriro 2 Park, Johane Masowe Echishanu Madzibaba Ishamea’s shrine.

ACCZ president Johannes Ndanga and a 26-member delegation comprising police and journalists went to the site to address the congregation over issues of women and child abuse.

Part of the congregants challenged Ndanga to read his speech in Shona claiming they were not conversant with English.

Ndanga then ordered police to arrest one of the congregants who kept interjecting as he read the speech.

Other congregants then began singing an allegedly, “violence-inciting song” called Umambo hwepfumo neropa, before all male congregants armed with shepherd’s crooks of about one metre long started charging at Ndanga.

Accused persons then started throwing stones and assaulting police officers, ZBC journalists Relax Marufu and Tichaona Meza and an ACCZ delegate Langton Muchena. They all sustained serious injuries.

A ZBC truck was damaged on the rear and front windscreen, and a tripod camera stand valued at $1 350 was damaged.

Comments (23)

What is happening in zimbabwe? an individual orders the police ti arrest some one. Cry the beloved country. according to the law any one who abuses women and children should be prosecuted. one expects the police to open a docket, investigate and then prosecute the users. what was the leader of a rival church doing. one remembers Kunonga. Police can not force respect from the povo through brutality but should earn that respect by not being involved in corrupt activities and acting on partisan basis.

chabvondoka - 4 June 2014

the country has fallen into the hands of the devil. why does these people do such a bad thing to their own children denying a child right to education is not good at all.

lovemore - 4 June 2014

now that the abusers have been arrested and some on the run do we have any report made to any police station around the country keep us informed pliz and how many children have so far enrolled in various schools and their age groups. musazotipa mibikirwa kuti zvinakire remwe diwi,

nyanga - 4 June 2014

A careful analysis of this whole drama will reveal that the blame should be squarely put on the gun wielding church leader called Ndanga. Why did he decide to embarass the other church leader in front of his flock, was there no other more diplomatic way to lay his message across? He knows very well how Mapostori value their shrines as sacred places where one has to take off their shoes when entering but he chose to disregard all that with a TV crew on tow to show off to the whole world how powerful he is. Not only that, he had a full backup in the form of riot police with equally full blessings from the ruling party. He is the one who started this whole thing and should be held accountable as well. We do not condone fathers performing those acts on innocent children but a more effective way would have delivered the message. Ndanga, the police unit involved, the violent mapostori and the hired ZANU thugs all have a case to answer and they all belong behind bars.

Dr Know - 4 June 2014

Those uneducated mapositori were not tortured. The law enforcement people only used minimum force to extract information on the whereabouts of other mapositori and their leader Madzibaba Ishemea Mufani. Havasati varobwa avo. Give them time. Vachakumbira kugerwa ndebvu idzo. Dont blame ZANUPF for nothing. When this party came into power even iwe urikutaurisa your poor father had no money to send you and your brothers to school but ZANUPF managed to introduce free education now you can read and write wavakuona kushata kweZANUPF but kwemapositori airambidza vamwe kuenda kuschool you cant see it. Regai kungonakirwa nokunyora mhani. Gentleman let me tell you this today. Ukangotamba uchirova mupurisa uchiti vanhu vachati heee ZANUPF kuita sei ucharobwa chete kusvikira maziva kuti munhu arimuUniform haatukwi kana kurobwa. Kana vavakurobwa idzo hamadzenyu idzi havafi vakataura futi. Mirai muone. By Baba Gery

ezbon gapare - 4 June 2014

Those uneducated mapositori were not tortured. The law enforcement people only used minimum force to extract information on the whereabouts of other mapositori and their leader Madzibaba Ishemea Mufani. Havasati varobwa avo. Give them time. Vachakumbira kugerwa ndebvu idzo. Dont blame ZANUPF for nothing. When this party came into power even iwe urikutaurisa your poor father had no money to send you and your brothers to school but ZANUPF managed to introduce free education now you can read and write wavakuona kushata kweZANUPF but kwemapositori airambidza vamwe kuenda kuschool you cant see it. Regai kungonakirwa nokunyora mhani. Gentleman let me tell you this today. Ukangotamba uchirova mupurisa uchiti vanhu vachati heee ZANUPF kuita sei ucharobwa chete kusvikira maziva kuti munhu arimuUniform haatukwi kana kurobwa. Kana vavakurobwa idzo hamadzenyu idzi havafi vakataura futi. Mirai muone. By Baba Gery

DOVI - 4 June 2014

this vapostori sect they do such evil in the name of church, zimbabwe is a free country when it came to religion, but this kind of sect violet socital values, girl child must be educated, have a right to choose a man she want to marry, i think they must be given stiff penalties

walter - 4 June 2014

What about the zanu youths who burnt the shrine are they law enforcement agents and where do they come in. Why is it that no one is talking about arresting them.

lionel - 4 June 2014

Hasn't a link between the violence by "madzibaba" and some political party been found yet? Someone is definitely sleeping on his/her job.

Vapupuri - 4 June 2014

Dr. Know you need to be examined by doctor. How do you manage to mention ZANU-PF in this issue. You are ill!

dugnas - 4 June 2014

@dugnas (dunyas), are you not aware that Ndanga has close connections with your beloved ruinous party called ZANU? As your name suggests, you need to have your head examined yourself.

Dr Know - 4 June 2014

rubish,those mapostori should be punisished, tortured etc,ko what they are doing to the kids??

Nzou - 4 June 2014

The public need to understand the laws and the journalist could do with researching same as well. If a police officer is attacked in any way it is a very serious offence in the casr of this disturbance the police could have legitimately used fire arms to protect themselves. In future it would be appropriate for the poice to carry fire arms which would then save us wasting precious funds on court cases concerning trouble makers.

infairness - 5 June 2014

These people attacked the Police and in doing so disregarded the law, now they want protection from the same laws which they disregard. If every person being investigated decides to behave like these mapostori then no Police officer will want to investigate any case. It puzzles me how these people expect others to observe the law yet they do not want to do the same. What is the nationality of these people? Since they do not have any identity documents how do we know they are Zimbabweans or even human to beggin with. If they are not human, as suggested by their unwillingness to be governed by laws which govern other humans, probably their cases must be handled by the SPCA.

The Kid - 5 June 2014

Of course yes the Police were bashed and ya all think they deserved it..yeah yeah Good riddance to bad rubbish...but lets not overlook the purpose of their visit. Child abuse is very prominent these Postoris. WE are saying NO to Child Marriages, NO to rape and now they are being justified. Their actions are coming back to them and they must indeed suffer the consequences. Denying children education is against their rights despite their belief. Now they believe they have rights coz zvakwavari, but they deny their families future, vanongofunga kugerwa zuda mubutcher nekungomitisa vana vadoko. Dont drag politics into this, these people were not supposed to attack the police in the first place.....kana vasingaende kuclinic asi kujere vanoenda. Prosecutors...after this asault case make sure you open another case yeRAPE. Its high time these people accept children rights.

SoWhat! - 5 June 2014

thats nonsese wakjaroiwa nezanu pf, during colonial rule our parents used to feed us. ndanga is usesless , there are procedures to to take to address a problem . by the fact that Zanu pf pple went to burn the shrine things, it shows ndanga was sent by zanu pf. those officers who escorted zanu pf pple to burn the shrine must also b arrested

chidhomoro - 5 June 2014

people, you are now attacking each other using deep words on a matter that simply needs Zimbabweans to come together in thought and find means of assisting these beloved abused sisters. Mapostori akaponda they deserve punishment, ZANU PF youths please do not abuse your powers we know you have an upper-hand on everything and we love you but itai mushe manzwa

mazhaka - 5 June 2014

i think the leaders in zrp shud reconsider their training programmes.how could riot police be beaten like snakes like that.they should have used the anti riot skills that they acquired during the six months of training to contro vapostori ava.and also ivo mapositori aya shud be banned if the allegations are true that they inserted their fingers into their daughters private parts.thats diabolical

kidos - 6 June 2014

Musa dzvanyirira mapostori these are God's people . Mapurisa neZBC vanotsvakei ikoko ask kana mava panguva yakaoma munomanya kumapostori iwawa. So stop tormenting these people. Can you gauge what you call minimum force kana uchirova umwe munhu. That's being stupid, they is nothing like that of saying minmum force iwe pauri June mvura yemuteuro wemapostori iwawa but urikurasa muromo, shame on you.

mukanya - 7 June 2014

they must be tortured . tit 4 tat (what they are doing to children, women and girls is torture

mamoyo - 9 June 2014

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