Home » Judicial » Cop-Bashing Vapostori to Seek Discharge

A GROUP of apostolic sect members facing public violence charges after last month’s attack on police officers and journalists have indicated they will apply for discharge if prosecutors fail to provide a trial date.

The 37 men from Madzibaba Ishmael Mufani’s Johanne Masowe Sect gave the notice Wednesday through their lawyer Obey Shava.

They were arrested following the ill-fated bid to ban their church by the shadowy Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe led by Zanu PF apologist Johannes Ndanga.

Shava also demanded that the State produce a full report on allegations of police torture raised by the accused persons.

“The State counsel has taken me through the docket and I do accept what they are saying,” said Shava.

“In our next court appearance on August 6, State should provide a trial date for the accused persons and also furnish the court on complaints made by the accused.

“If the State fails in that regard, the court should see it fit to remove the accused persons from remand.”

The case was then postponed to August 6 by magistrate Donald Ndirowei who ordered prosecutors to provide a trial date as well as the torture report.

For the State, Sharon Mashavira said police were still investigating the torture claims.

“The officer in charge for law and order has given us a letter pertaining to the investigations, with the copy already served to the accused persons’ legal representatives.

“A full and compiled report would be given to the accused persons’ legal team on their next remand date.”

She added: “This is a complex matter involving 37 accused people apprehended in batches by police. The compilation of documents from various police stations took a longer period than usual.

“A medical affidavit for two State witnesses, Lameck Chitope and Langton Muchena who were injured in the violence is not yet in our possession.”

Prosecutors say the men turned violent and attacked police details, journalists and members of ACCZ who visited their shrine to ban it on allegations of child and women abuse.

Over 200 members of the sect turned their shepherd stuffs on the police and news crews, resulting in the hospitalisation of five cops, one journalist and the provincial leaders of ACCZ while Ndanga and other officials escaped unhurt.

The leader of the group, Ishmael Mufami, is still at large while Ndanga has since told Parliament that he has no authority to ban any church or religious sect.

Source : New Zimbabwe