Madzibaba Ishamea to remain in custody

HARARE - Madzibaba Ishamea Mufani will further languish in remand prison after a Harare magistrate yesterday deferred his trial  to February 3.

Mufani is being charged with public violence after members of his Apostolic sect beat up police officers, journalists and Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (Accz) officials who had gone to shut down his church over allegations of child and women abuse mid last year.

He was denied bail by magistrate Milton Serima who raised fears that the cleric would abscond trial if freed. Eleven of his followers have been jailed for four years each over the same charge.

Allegations against Mufani arose on May 30 when an entourage led by Accz executive president Archbishop Johannes Ndanga, that included police officers and journalists, was beaten up by the Vapositori.

This was after Ndanga had read out a letter banning the church. The congregants violently challenged the Accz leader, imploring him to read his speech in Shona, claiming they were not familiar with English. Ndanga then ordered police to arrest one of the congregates who kept interjecting as he read the speech.

Other congregants then began singing Umambo hwepfumo neropa, before all male congregates armed with shepherd’s crooks charged towards the “trespassers” and assaulted them.

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