Police say they are closing in on Johanne Masowe eChishanu Budiriro 2 based sect leader Madzibaba Ishmael Mufani who is believed to be hiding at some of his colleagues' shrines in the city or at his relatives' houses.

Madzibaba Ishmael's house (number 17088 Tabudirira Housing Co-operative, Budiriro 1) was deserted on Monday, with only a dilapidated Peugeot 504, Mitsubishi Lancer and VW Beetle in the yard.

Although the details were still sketchy, some police officers suspect that he is hiding at some of his relatives' homes.

Police are also still hunting for sect members believed to have been involved in the violence, with 28 of them having been arrested so far. Most of them were arrested after they had gone into hiding at the Green Valley area in Epworth. Police are still monitoring and waylaying some of the sect members in the area.

Residents of Budiriro in Harare, on Monday destroyed a Johanne Masowe eChishanu shrine because Madzibaba Ishmael Mufani reportedly incited followers to brutally assault rivals, police officers and journalists last Friday.

Neighbours alleged he had a mental illness that manifested in 2008, and Madzibaba Ishmael approached Madzibaba Enock of the Venguwo Tsvuku sect for help.

Seven police officers in riot gear, journalists and members of the ACCZ were seriously injured when the Johanne Masowe eChishanu apostolic sect members attacked them with knobkerries, sticks and stones as they sang a song that went "Hondo yepfumo neropa".

This was after ACCZ president Archbishop Johannes Ndanga announced that the sect had been banned from operating in Zimbabwe because it violated national and Christian laws.

There are allegations of widespread abuse of women in the sect, and children are not allowed to attend conventional schools.


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