Top Stories

Cultist Madzibaba Ishmael out on US$1 000 bail

By Staff Writer

APOSTOLIC cult leader , Ishmael Chokurongerwa has finally been granted US$1 000 bail by the High Court.

He spent nearly two months behind bars following his arrest for breaching the Burial and Children’s Act, respectively.

Chokurongerwa (54), popularly known as Madzibaba Ishmael, heads the Johanne Masowe Penyera Nyika sect, which became infamous after the church’s scandals were exposed.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the High Court freed the self-styled cleric and former convict after realising that there was no longer a risk of interference, however imposing stringent bail conditions that will see him reporting three times a week at Nyabira Police Station.

“The court ruled that there was no longer any risk of interference with witnesses. He was ordered to reside at his given address until the matter is finalised and barred from conducting any church gatherings anywhere until the matter is finalised,” said the NPA.

The controversial clergyman was arrested alongside seven other church elders of his sect, who were recently granted bail.

It was established during investigations that the group barred sect members from acquiring birth certificates or attending school.

“Investigations conducted by the police established that 246 out of 251 children below the age of 18 years found at the farm had no birth certificates and were being used to perform various physical activities for the benefit of the sect’s leadership,” said prosecutors.

It was established that all children of school going age did not attend formal education and were subjected to abuse as cheap labour, doing manual work in the name of life skills teaching, the State alleged.

Police also found 16 undocumented graves at the Canaan shrine situated in Nyabira, Mashonaland West province.

More on Humanitarian Post:

Leave a Reply

Back to top button