Budiriro apostolic sect shrine deserted

HARARE - While other apostolic churches in Harare’s Budiriro suburb conducted their church services as usual on both Friday and Sunday, members of Madzibaba Ishamea Mufani’s Johanne Masowe sect, who attacked police officers a couple of weeks ago, were nowhere to be seen.

A visit to the shrine by the Daily News yesterday revealed that the law enforcers have won the war.

The shrine was deserted and of late it has become the playing ground of children of other Vapositori worshipping near Madzibaba Ishamea’s shrine.

The Budiriro shrine now resembles a deserted citadel with ash all over the place — evidence of the trail of destruction left by Zanu PF youths who set the “sacred” shrine alight in the wake of the thrashing of law enforcers.

Budiriro residents who spoke to the Daily News said the police were maintaining a night vigil to ensure the Vapositori do not regroup and continue worshipping at the shrine.



“Police always keep an eye on the shrine especially during the night hence the Vapositori will be kept at bay,” said a Budiriro resident only identified as Pretty.

Over the past week, police were conducting awareness campaigns in Budiriro and Glen View suburbs, educating residents to shun violence and alerting them on the dangers of not respecting law enforcers.

Vapositori went on a rampage last month after Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe president Johannes Ndanga, led a 26-member delegation that also included the police and journalists, to the church’s revered shrine to enforce a ban imposed on the church over issues of women and child abuse.

Some of the congregants challenged Ndanga to read his speech in Shona claiming they did not understand English.
Ndanga then ordered police to arrest one of the congregants who kept interjecting as he read his speech justifying the banning of the church.

Other congregants then began singing an allegedly “violence-inciting song” called Umambo hwepfumo neropa before male congregants armed with sticks of about a metre-long each started charging at Ndanga.

The violence left police officers and journalist battling for their lives in hospitals in the capital.

Currently, more than 30 Vapositori have been arrested and they are being tried at the Harare Magistrate’s Courts but the sect’s leader, Mufani, is still on the run.

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