D-Day for Madzibaba Ishmael set

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Harare magistrate Mr Milton Serima is next Wednesday expected to hand down the ruling in the matter in which Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongerwa Mufani is accused of public violence.

Mr Serima set the date after the defence closed its case.

Mufani, through his lawyer Mr Tawanda Takaendesa, called six witnesses, including his look-alike, who testified in his favour.

Mufani is alleged to have assaulted police officers, journalists and Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe members at his shrine on May 30 last year.

Some of his sect members were convicted of the same offence last year and are behind bars. However, Mufani is denying the charges, arguing that he was not at the shrine on the day in question.

At one time he wept uncontrollably in court while defending himself.

He said he was being “fixed” by Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe president Bishop Johannes Ndanga for refusing to pray for him and former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru so they could take over leadership of the country.

He said Ndanga summoned him to his offices where he claimed that he had classified information that President Mugabe was going to step down, with Dr Mujuru taking over while he (Ndanga) deputising her.

Mufani also claimed that Bishop Ndanga said the country was sick and tired of being led by non-Christians, hence the need for God-fearing people like Dr Mujuru and him to take over.

The State played a video clip in court in which the sect members were captured assaulting the police, journalists and ACCZ members and some of the witnesses managed to identify Mufani.

Mufani in his defence denied that it was him in the video, adding that it was his look-alike whom he then brought to court to testify.

Mufani also brought another member of his sect, Joseph Sande, who claimed that he was with Mufani in Hurungwe when the crime was committed but there were some inconsistencies in his testimony.

Ms Mukumbiri reminded him that the offence was committed last year but he insisted that Mufani came to Hurungwe in 2013.

Upon noticing that the gallery was in stitches, Sande tried to retract: “Aiwa mirai tione, igore rakapera paseri paakauya, aiwa kani gore rakapera ratabva iri (Let me see, he came last year but one, no, it was last year,)” he said.

Ms Mukumbiri had no kind words for him: “You were coached and your evidence is tailor-made. You have so much confusion.

“Anyway, thank you for selling yourself out.” Another member of the sect, Spartwell Marewa, also tried to clear Mufani but contradicted Sande’s testimony.

He told the court that Mufani was in Hurungwe from May to September yet Sande said he was in Hurungwe from May to August.