The Sunday Mail
SCORES of unruly members of the Johanne Masowe yeChishanu members who did the unthinkable by attacking anti-riot officers, Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe officials and journalists face arrest as police launch a raid to weed out the malcontents in Budiriro 2 today.National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday warned that the police will ruthlessly react to lawlessness.
“The police will arrest everyone who assaulted the police officers and journalists who were on duty. We do not tolerate church members who beat up police officers and journalists.
“They will be arrested and we urge all church members to lead by example. What will the nation and our neighbours say when we have church members behaving in such a manner? That’s not the way church members should communicate.
“There were children at that meeting. How are they going to think or behave when their parents beat up police officers? People will be picked up,” she said.
Officer Commanding Harare province Senior Assistant Commissioner Clement Munoriarwa weighed in and said the police will arrest the culprits.
“We are not investigating the allegations that were raised by Bishop Johannes Ndanga from the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe at the moment.
“The police have a unit that will be moving in tomorrow (today) to Budiriro to pick everyone who was involved. We will not tolerate that behaviour where we have members from a church attacking the police and journalists.
“We will deal with them. The police force does not tolerate such behaviour where church members act and behave like gangsters or activists. People are going to be arrested and that is our role. When one breaks the law we move in and that is what is going to happen in Budiriro,” said Senior Asst Comm Munoriarwa.
Police sources told The Sunday Mail that evidence was compiled from internet pictures while witnesses were questioned to gather evidence against controversial members of the Johanne Masowe yeChishanu sect.
Sources added that police have already identified some members of the sect who ran riot on Friday.
Meanwhile, leaders of the Johanne Masowe yeChishanu apostolic sect yesterday distanced themselves from the group led by Ishmael Mufani.
One of the leaders, Mr Lawrence Katsiru, apologised to the nation over the shameful Friday drama but disowned the Budiriro sect saying they were only abusing their name — Johanne Masowe yeChishanu.
“We would like to apologise to the President, Zimbabwe Republic Police, ACCZ, journalists and the nation at large for what happened on Friday, but I would like to make it clear that Mufani is not part of Johanne Masowe yeChishanu since we only have five leaders, and he is not among the five,” said Mr Katsiru.
He said their doctrines were parallel and when the Mufani sect attacked police and journalists on Friday, his church was already gathering information to sue Mufani for illegally using their name.
Mufani’s church stands accused of gross human rights violations, including baring congregants from accessing medical health facilities, education and owning national identity particulars.
Mr Katsiru said offenders should be brought to book, including those who ran away because they are a threat to peace.
In an unprecedented move, a group of marauding apostolic sect members viciously attacked anti-riot police, and the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) leadership for trying to ban their church.
Three police officers were seriously injured while three others escaped with minor injuries.
The drama unfolded when ACCZ president Bishop Ndanga, who was in the company of 20 anti-riot police officers, told about 200 Johanne
Masowe yeChishanu members that he had banned the church due to allegations of women and child abuse.
In protest, women congregants wailed while their male counterparts sang “Hondo Yepfumo Neropa” before they launched a dramatic attack on police and journalists as Ndanga sped off in a Range Rover.