Madzibaba Ishamea flees to SA

HARARE - Fugitive Madzibaba Ishamea Mufani, the Johanne Masowe weChishanu leader has escaped to Rustenberg, South Africa.

Officials from his church said Mufani arrived safely in Rustenberg, a city situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range in the North West Province, .

He and his family were assisted by church members to escape via the Beitbridge Border Post. Mufani has been on the run from police after church members assaulted police officers and journalists.

At least 25 members of the sect have appeared in court on charges of assaulting police officers and journalists.

The violence broke out in May after ACCZ president Johannes Ndanga, who was in the company of about 20 anti-riot police officers — told about 300 Johanne Masowe apostolic sect members that he had banned the church for abuse of women and girls among other things.

The members were congregated at their sacred shrine in the high-density suburb of Budiriro 2 in Harare when Ndanga addressed them, triggering violence that saw three police officers seriously injured while three others escaped with minor injuries.

A ZBC photographer, who tried to film the event, was also clobbered by the marauding Vapositori using their shepherd’s crooks.

Windows of a ZBC van were also smashed in the stand-off.

Lameck Chitope, ACCZ Harare provincial chairman, was bludgeoned on the head and sustained serious injuries.

Journalists and ACCZ members had to take refuge at Budiriro 2 Police Station as the agitated Vapositori bayed for their blood.

Police then launched revenge attacks, enlisting Zanu PF youths to burn down the shrine while police hunted for the sect leaders, primarily Madzibaba Mufani.

Church disputes are common in Zimbabwe, but Mufani’s popularity encouraged Vapositori to support him.

He reportedly tapped a church network that helped him escape from Zimbabwe and gain entry into South Africa. His family is seeking authorisation to stay in the country and they could later on decide to seek asylum, an informed source said.

Mufani’s family arrived safely in Rustenberg, which has a strong presence of Vapositori, according to church officials.

Within the city are some historic churches, including the Anglican Church (1871) and the Dutch Reformed Church (1898–1903), the historic statue of the Voortrekker girl and the Rustenburg Museum.

The Mufani family is reportedly staying in a guesthouse run by a church couple.

Rustenberg  was one of the official host cities of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and is in close proximity to Phokeng, capital of the Royal Bafokeng Nation. In an e-mail seen by the

Daily News, Mufani thanked the SA-based church and other church leaders for helping his family flee to SA and also said their purpose for going there was to escape “persecution.”

Police have been informed that Mufani is now domiciled in Rustenberg, and were said to be carrying out an extraterritorial probe to bring Mufani to book.

The church-led assault on police officers has been slammed by other churches.

The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD), comprising leaders of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, The Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the Evangelical

Fellowship of Zimbabwe,  recently said it was particularly saddening when those involved in the violence belong to a church which is meant to be an instrument of healing, reconciliation and peace.

“The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations condemns unreservedly any and all acts of  violence or processes that may trigger violence from any and whatever quarter,” said ZHOCD in a statement

“Whilst condemning the violence by the worshippers, ZHOCD feels that this could have been avoided if the leadership of the church in question had been engaged in a process to deal with matters of concern in a less confrontational and more interactive manner.”

Comments (4)

Whilst not condoning the actions of this group of Vapositori the whole avoidable saga was a creation of the dim-witted Ndanga and the senior police officers who seconded their man so this lunatic could provoke them.

Kufakwejyi - 5 August 2014

basa ndasiya ndapedza

madzibaba - 5 August 2014

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yes, ndaifarira kuti dai mvhangeri ava pazvaipisa paya ndakavaudza kuti tizai, muzvitokisi zvaBob umu maifiramo, kubuda mava chitunha chaicho. ndafara zvikuru, asi muchenjere ikoko anotevera futi. vechechi pliz namatirai murume uyu, akabatwa anofa namai kudai.

mutumwa - 6 August 2014

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