Madzibaba Ishmael, Gideon and Zebediah Sigudhu arrested: Disturbing discoveries made at Lily Farm


Prophet arrested for criminal activities, including abuse of minors, in Nyabira raid

In a significant development, police have apprehended a self-styled prophet and leader of the Johane Masowe (Gore Jena Penyeranyika) sect, Ishmael Chokurongerwa (56), along with several church members, on charges related to criminal activities, including the abuse of minors. The arrests followed a meticulously executed raid conducted by the police at Lily Farm in Nyabira.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi shed light on the operation, revealing that a total of eight individuals were taken into custody. Apart from Chokurongerwa, those arrested were identified as Shingirai Ngawafune (42), James Gwenzi (55), Zebediah Sigudu, Devlodge Katsande (45), Aaron Chokurongerwa (47), Wonder Kabaya (41), and Siribinio Chikurunhe aka Madzibaba Gideon (53).

During the raid, law enforcement officers made a shocking discovery. Among the 251 children below the age of 18 residing at Lily Farm, a staggering 246 had no birth certificates — a grave violation of their rights. Even more distressing was the revelation that these vulnerable children were being subjected to exploitative child labour.

Assistant Commissioner Nyathi expressed deep concern over the children’s plight, highlighting the fact that they were denied access to formal education and instead coerced into menial work under the guise of being taught life skills. Such exploitative practices amount to nothing short of abuse, robbing these young individuals of their childhood and fundamental education.

Further investigations conducted at the scene uncovered a disturbing sight — a total of 16 graves scattered across the farm. Among these were nine graves for adults and seven for infants. It was revealed that these burials took place without proper registration with the Registrar-General’s Office, contravening the Birth and Death Registration Act (Chapter 5:02). Additionally, the burials occurred without obtaining the required burial orders in accordance with the Burial and Cremation Act (Chapter 5:03).

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