Congregant seeks to exonerate Ishamea

HARARE - A congregant from Madzibaba Ishamea Mufani’s sect who resembles the cleric, yesterday testified in court, claiming he was the man mistaken for Mufani.

In a bid to exonerate Mufani from the allegations, Nesbert James Jachi claimed he was the character in pictures and footage presented in court who has been identified by State witnesses as Mufani.

Mufani is being charged with public violence after members of his sect attacked journalists, police officers and ACCZ officials who had gone to shut down his church over allegations of child and women abuse.

Jachi told the court that State witnesses had lied by claiming that Mufani was at the shrine on the day in question.

Extracts of the Daily News and other local newspapers were produced in court together with a video shot on the day.

Jachi said: “I am the one sitting at the shrine and I am the one whose picture was published in local newspapers. It is not possible that other witness identified me as madzibaba.

“Even if he is to be incarcerated, the truth is that he was not present. His beard has white hairs and he also has thin lips contrary to the person in the pictures who has a black beard and thick lips.”

Prosecutor Fransisca Mukumbiri accused Jachi of being an imposter.

“How much did they give you to become an imposter and are you aware of the effects of the course you are taking,” questioned Mukumbiri.

“Are you aware that three of the witnesses who testified in this trial and identified the accused person in the video already knew him prior to the event?”

Charges against Mufani arose on May 30 last year when an entourage led by Ndanga — that included police officers and journalists — was beaten up by the Vapositori.

The congregants challenged the ACCZ leader to read his speech in Shona, claiming they were not familiar 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 the song Umambo hwepfumo neropa, before all male congregants armed with shepherd’s crooks charged towards the “trespassers” and assaulted them.

Comments (2)

"Ndanga then ordered police to arrest one of the congregants who kept interjecting as he read the speech." Something is terribly wrong here.

Analyst - 24 April 2015

Ordered the arrest of an interjector, who was apparently telling the truth about his failure to grasp the english language being used by the not so brilliant Ndanga

Mukanya - 24 April 2015

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