ZimRights calls for clear thinking over Masowe Church case

via ZimRights calls for clear thinking over Masowe Church case | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu on Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Zimbabwe Human Rights Association director Okay Machisa has said as much as the public celebration over the bashing of the police by members of the Johane Masowe church is understandable, people should not ignore the violations of women and children said to be going on within the sect.

The ZimRights boss was speaking to SW Radio Africa in the aftermath of an incident in which members of the Masowe church beat up the police and state journalists last Friday. The beating happened when the President of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe, Johannes Ndanga, told hundreds of the sect members at their holy shrine that he had banned the church for abuse of women and girls. He was in the company of 20 anti-riot police.

Zimbabweans across the globe reacted with celebration to the news of the beating of the police. But Machisa said it is unfortunate that the ZRP’s ‘appalling’ reputation has made people ignore the reported violations which led to the bid to shut down the church in the first place.

The ZimRights boss called for clear thinking over the issue, saying his organisation has since received ‘a lot of reports’ on human rights violations in faith-based organisations. He called for a thorough investigation into the matter ‘without fear or favor.’

He added: ‘If all of us can see something wrong with the abduction of the girls by the Boko Haram in a far away country like Nigeria we should surely see something wrong in our own Budiriro.’ Machisa said this after scores of Zimbabwean activists recently demonstrated in Harare in solidarity with the abduction of school girls by the Boko Haram, a political and religious terrorist group fighting the Nigerian government.

Machisa condemned the state’s handling of the Masowe church matter saying the overall conduct of the police so far has revealed the force’s unprofessionalism and bias. He was referring to the incident in which the police escorted ZANU PF youths who raided the Masowe shrine in Budiroro and destroyed it, avenging the beating of the police last week.

He also condemned the members of the Masowe church for beating up the police saying violence should not be tolerated at any level of society. Machisa’s comments come after several human rights groups, including the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, condemned ‘mob justice’ and called on the police to ‘maintain professionalism.’



  • comment-avatar
    Kusvikazvanaka 8 years ago

    Almost 98% of Zimbabweans are against the state police force. They are not only corrupt but brutal and act for the ruling Zanu PF party. The Vapositori has demonstrated that indeed these thugs can be humiliated regardless this ruthlessness. Thumps up Vapositori! I will join you and initiate building of a secret anti-police force within Vapositori.

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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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    tavaziva 8 years ago

    clear thinking was lacking from the onset of this masowe thing. firstly we need to define the legality of accz is it a chapter 8 institution? secondly wat is the role of the police coz certainly no right thinking oic would dispatch riot geared officers to accompany ndanga on his glory seeking mission finally the conduct of the judge dealing with this issue is highly suspicious a judge cant be the prosecutor and judge at once we have a situation wer prosecution is not against bail and d judge denies vapositori bail ndokudhakwa ka uku.

    ndanga erred from the onset his organization does not have powers to ban churches and the major question is f indeed he s concerned abt women rights y s he targeting small fish wen t s common knowledge tht gals a married off at a tender age kwa marange uko.

    fo as much as l dont condone the abuse of any kind wat boggles my mind s d fact dat no one from accz, musasa, mohcw and police ever bothered to investigate f these allegations against mapositori a tru. how do you prosecute wout evidence ah hameno.

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    biend 8 years ago

    I don’t think anyone is condoning the abuse of women and children,the handling of the accusation is what is quesitionable.Why didn’t Ndanga open up a case through usual channels and let the Police investigate the matter,if the allegations are found to be true then the arrests are made.Instead the Riot Police were sent in as if there was violence going on.One is forgiven to the think Ndanga cunningly used the State Machinery,to settle his personal differences with other Church Leaders

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    nyakureva 8 years ago

    what evidence do we have that if a church (gathering) is banned the women and children abuse goes away? what has been going on behind the scenes for the riot (anti-riot – my foot)police and ndanga to take the action thy did? when does the government use which unit of the police? why did the police not use the same strategy they used to build a case against end day message leader? talk of police state………………

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    maita 8 years ago

    ZRP has stopped to be a professional organisation and is more of a mafia militia than a law enforcement agent. Here they may try to do their village mentality of defending their action but what they did is terribly bad and for a country seeking legitimacy to the World’s view this is a sorry event. I think Pope Francis is right and very right, we have reached our human limit we now need God to intervene and if he can do it now before we perish under this yoke of liberation which has turned into a condemnation.

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    Nyondeni 8 years ago

    First of all Johanne Masowe Church is not a member of the ‘Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe’or any organisation for that matter.It operates under its universal set of rules.Why was Johannes Ndanga meddling in this Church’s affairs,sounds like personal vendatta to me.I dont know how women & chn rights were violeted in Budiriro but being a member of Johanne Masowe myself,i know that women’s rights are not violeted all in the church,it is a common stereotypical misconception emanating from different Apostolic Churches not Johanne Masowe.We have many female leaders in the church,everyone is allowed to attend school & hospitals.My family was raised in this church & my parents are qualified educators & i’m a university graduate myself.People always make the mistake of generalizing all Apolostolic Churches,they are many different Apostolic churches with different indoctrinations & more often that not these alleged violations are confined to individual branches.Many abuse cases are reported in different churches like Roman Catholic,Anglican etc yet they choose to sensationalize & generalize ones from Apostolic Churches.Why does Okay Machisa shoot his mouth off about ‘women right abuses’ he knows nothing about,if he has a case against anyone he should present evidence & follow proper channels as prescribed by the law instead of making claims based on hearsay.
    On the police Vs Mapostori saga,you have to understand that for every action there’s a reaction.We all know that at all Apostolic Masowe shrines one cannot enter with shoes on,even Mugabe removed his shoes to conform to the rules of the Johanne Marange shrine he visited,the police did not follow this.If any one had issues with the church’s alleged women & chn rights abuses why were there no investigations & prosecution via courts of law.Riot police is only summoned during public violence so what the hell were riot police doing at a place of worship were no violence was taking place?Instead the police are the ones who incited violence by attacking ,harrasing , disrespect the Masowe people & i think the worshippers were trying to protect themselves & their place of worship which was under attack by police.If any person is invaded & attacked in his/her home they will fight back ,the Budiriro Masowe people are justified !

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      Kondo 8 years ago

      Nyondeni. I agree with you 100%. Efforts should be made to assist the VaPostori legally. A Fund should be set up. I am broke but I will contribute.

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    roving ambassador. 8 years ago

    I would also want to help Madzibaba. Injustice is being served.

    • comment-avatar
      roving ambassador. 8 years ago

      human rights lawyers please move in and give us a bank account for legal fees.