Canaan cult leader Madzibaba Ishmael’s arrest latest: More details emerge


A SELF-STYLED prophet and leader of the Johane Masowe (Gore Jena Penyeranyika) sect has been arrested for criminal activities, which include abuse of minors.

In a statement yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the sect leader, Ishmael Chokurongerwa (56), was arrested along with his church members Shingirai Ngawafune (42), James Gwenzi (55), Zebediah Sigudu, Devlodge Katsande (45), Aaron Chokurongerwa (47), Wonder Kabaya (41) and Siribinio Chikurunhe (53).

Nyathi said the arrests followed a raid by the police at Lily Farm in Nyabira on Tuesday.

During the raid, police found that 246 of the 251 children below the age of 18 staying at the farm had no birth certificates and were being subjected to child labour.

“Police 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 being taught life skills,” Nyathi said.

He added that police also found 16 graves at the farm — nine for adults and seven for infants and “all burials were conducted without prior registration with the Registrar-General’s Office in terms of Birth and Death Registration Act [Chapter 5:02], or without obtaining burial orders in terms of the Burial and Cremation Act [Chapter 5:03]”.

In an unrelated matter, three children were killed while the fourth one escaped with injuries when a Toyota Fortuner veered off the road and knocked them down as they were waiting to cross the road at the 2km peg along the Christmas Pass-Shamu Road in Mutare on Tuesday.

The three were identified as Blessing Chisaria (9), Silvian Maponde (13) and Strive Maponde (7), all of Grange, Toronto at Chirochangu Plot.

Their bodies were taken to Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital mortuary for a post-mortem, while the injured one was also admitted to the same hospital. NewsDay.

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