Madzibaba Mufani arrest unjustified, Mwonzora

MDC-T Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora has lashed out at the police accusing them of unjustifiably arresting Johane Masowe eChishanu Apostolic Church leader Madzibaba Ishmael Mufani who has been picked in connection with violence.

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Mwonzora, who is a lawyer by training, said Mufani was not present when members of his sect assaulted police officers and journalists last year.

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Mufani who was arrested Friday after spending nearly nine months on the run is said to have been in South Africa at the time of the assault.

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Circumstances are that in May 2014, members of his apostolic sect attacked a group of police officers, journalists and Apostolic Church Council of Zimbabwe officials at his shrine in Budiriro.

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The delegation had descended at the shrine with the intention of shutting it down on allegations that the controversial sect perpetrated abuses against women and children.

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As a result of the violence 37 members of the church were arrested and 11 of them were convicted on 5 years sentence each. However the convicted have since appealed to the High Court against both conviction and sentence.

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All the while Madzibaba remained at large until he was nabbed Friday. But Mwonzora told Newzimbabwe that his arrest was unjustified.

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“We are not sure why Madzibaba Ishmael has been arrested. What we are certainly sure of is that he was not there when the alleged offence took place.

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“We hope that the law will take its own course and we hope his safety will be guaranteed.

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“It is our hope that the case be treated in accordance with the supreme law of the land,” said Mwonzora.

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Cases of unlawful arrests by members of the police force are not new, raising questions over the country’s justice delivery system. According to legal experts the law is routinely abused to achieve certain political ends.

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Buttressing this view, Mwonzora said: “The policing system is inefficient and characterized by vindictiveness on the part of law enforcers. A lot of violence has been meted on the MDC members but the perpetrators have not been brought to book.’’

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If convicted Madzibaba Ishmael is likely to spend over 5 years in prison.