Police tortured, starved us, allege Vapostori

via Police tortured, starved us, allege Vapostori June 4, 2014 by Charles Laiton

Twenty-four members of the Johanne Masowe weChishanu apostolic sect arrested last Sunday on allegations of being part of a group involved in violent skirmishes with the police in Budiriro, Harare, yesterday claimed they were tortured and detained for over two days without food before they being brought to court.

The 24 are part of the 27 sect members so far brought to court on charges of assaulting police officers and journalists following a raid at their shrine last Friday.

They appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe yesterday facing charges of public violence.

Their three alleged accomplices appeared in court on Monday and were remanded in custody to June 16.

The accused claimed that although they never resisted arrest, they were denied food and severely battered by the law enforcement agents while in police cells.

Said one of the suspects Emmanuel Sigauke: “I was assaulted by the police officers upon arrest and was also denied food. I only ate today on our way to court.”

Tichafa Madyegora raised the same complaint, adding that he received a severe beating on his ears and had since developed hearing problems.

“I was assaulted in such a manner that I have developed hearing problems. As I speak, I can hardly hear with my other ear since the assault, I started hearing with the other a short while ago,” Madyegora said.

The unrepresented accused appeared in court shackled in leg irons and handcuffs.

The court remanded them in custody to June 16 and ordered that they should be medically examined to ascertain the alleged torture claims.

After noting down the accused’s complaints, Chikwekwe remanded them in custody to June 16 and ordered the State to investigate the allegations raised against the police.

Chikwekwe later castigated the Prosecutor-General’s Office for being unprofessional after State counsel Francesca Mukumbiri said she was not opposed to the granting of bail to the suspects, hardly 12 hours after denying bail to the other sect members.

“I am surprised that the State is not being professional, it is blowing hot and cold at the same time. Less than 12 hours ago, the same State strongly opposed bail against members of the same church facing similar allegations, but now turns around and consents to bail, why is that so?” Chikwekwe queried.

“I am of the view that it will not be in the interest of justice to grant the accused persons bail at this juncture as this will endanger their safety. And further to that, releasing the accused persons will cause chaos and public outcry.”

Allegations against all the accused are that on May 30 this year they participated in the attack on 26 police officers, journalists and officials from the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe led by Bishop Johannes Ndanga following the latter three groups’ arrival at their shrine in Budiriro 2.

Police had escorted Ndanga to close the shrine and ban the church over allegations of gross abuse of women and children’s rights.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 5
  • comment-avatar
    Shamhu YeNhanzva 8 years ago

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Isn’t that the reason for being taken to court? The ZRP officers are a bunch of thugs & gangsters & they know they can get away with anything as long as they continue to support & protect the corrupt ZANU politicians.

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    Mdidi 8 years ago

    If truth be told all along we thought zimbabwe had the toughest army and police force in the region but tell you what, following this 9 – nil win by the mapostori I have realised that we were fearing umnyama ongela mpisi. From today onwards I will never pay a bribe, I will not fear orobayi, ngithela impama nje ngedlule ngiyephekela abantwana. After all okungabantu lokhu kucakile,well underfed with signs of malnutrition written all over their faces. Now is the time to make a call. Zimbabwe has no army now, all well trained boys have left and are full in the streets of Hilbrow. This is the most opportune time to team up with omadzibaba and make a difference.These people are weak! Thanks Madzibaba wechishanu

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    biend 8 years ago

    These Worshippers are Heroes in my eyes,they did what the whole population is afraid to, stand up for their rights and fought for what they believe in.What right does this doomed so called Bishop has to close down a Church that has been there for decades.Most highly idolised Heroes have spent years in prisons for what they believe in,so Madzibaba keep your heads up. They will beat and break your flesh but don’t allow them to break your Spirit,Mwari vavenemi.I don’t condone the abuse of woman and children,perpetrators must face the music if found guilty by a court of law.This Bishop if his intensions were not self-serving and innocent,he should have gotten Police to investigate and not lead them,his actions and those of Police are therefore suspicious,the tidy is slowly but changing

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    Mdidi 8 years ago

    Lets Support Madzibaba by shaving bold and leaving beards! Patriotic isn’t it?

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    The magistrate acts like s/he is impartial but s/he is complicit in all this saga. S/he is supposed to be independent and grant or refuse bail according to the merits of the bail application not to be dictated to by the state. Now she finds herself in an unenviable position of refusing bail when the state is not opposed to granting of bail to the other twelve and she blames the state? What nonsense. It is the magistrate’s duty, job, obligation and discretion to grant bail or not. This magistrate is trying to absolve himself/ herself of very poor professional misconduct, only this is the Zimbabwean judiciary system. There is no professionalism left, and this magistrate should stop wasting her/ his time trying to act like an impartial judicial officer. We don’t buy it.