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Church leader charged for beating journos

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LEADER of Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide Revelation, Reverend Isaac Tititi Moyo, and four of his followers have been officially charged for assaulting NewsDay and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) journalists at his offices in Kwekwe last Friday.

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER

The four journalists — Blessed Mhlanga (NewsDay), ZBC Midlands bureau chief Jackie Gwemende and her cameraperson Dzikamai Mandizvidza and Munyaradzi Musiyiwa of The Herald — were also charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly taking pictures of Moyo’s Border Town Complex restaurant without permission.

The church leader allegedly turned rowdy and set his rowdy followers on the journalists after he learnt that they were investigating him.
NewsDay lawyer Caroline Mugabe said the journalists’ case would proceed by way of summons, while that of Moyo and his followers had been referred back for conclusion of investigations.

“After we raised issues with the prosecution on the nature of which charge is clearly a fishing expedition and a violation of fundamental constitutional rights protected under Section 62 and 63 of the Constitution, the State said they would look into the issues and proceed by way of summons against the journalists,” Mugabe said.

Valentine Mutatu, who was representing ZBC and The Herald reporters, said: “It is shocking that the victims are being turned into accused persons. The police must open dockets and charge persons only when they are satisfied that there is reasonable suspicion that an offence has been committed and not at the instigation of a person based on their sphere of influence.”

According to Mugabe, the prosecution ordered the police to go back with the dockets spelling charges of assault against Moyo and his followers to address some grey areas.

“Moyo, who is also an accused, was not there and his followers had also been instructed by their lawyer not to sign warned-and-cautioned statements. The police have been asked to correct those anomalies and bring back the matter of assaulting journalists back to court.

On Friday last week, Moyo led his charges in assaulting journalists who had gone to his restaurant to seek his comment on allegations that he was brutalising neighbours and their livestock at his Victory Farm in Sherwood.

The neighbours, who also share the boundary with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, are reportedly pushing for Moyo’s eviction from the area.

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