A Harare magistrate Wednesday jailed 11 members of the Apostolic sect for an effective four years and acquitted 26 others on charges of assaulting police officers and journalists in Harare’s Budiriro suburb.
The police officers and journalists had accompanied the leadership of church’s umbrella body, the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe, that had gone to the sect’s Budiriro shrine to investigate reports that the church was abusing children, for example, barring them from attending school.
A Harare magistrate once told the police to allow the apostolic faith members, who attacked them in Harare early this year, to seek medical treatment for injuries sustained while in the hands of the police.
The Johanne Masowe Echishanu Apostolic sect members led by Madzibaba Ishamael Mufani told the court that they were tortured by the police when they were arrested in different parts of Harare.
Their leader is still on the run. Members of the sect attacked police, journalists and representatives of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe following an announcement at the sect’s shrine that they were being banned for allegedly abusing women and girls, and denying children the right to education.
Suspected Zanu PF youths raided the apostolic faith sect’s shrine in Budiriro 2 after they attacked the police.