Madzibaba Ishmael denied bail pending appeal

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Incarcerated Johanne Masowe eChishanu apostolic sect leader Ishmael Chokurongerwa, popularly known as Madzibaba Ishmael, who is serving a four-year effective jail term for public violence, will now execute his appeal behind bars after his application seeking bail pending appeal was dismissed by the High Court yesterday.

BY CHARLES LAITON

High Court judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze said in his determination, he had considered whether Chokurongerwa had prospects of success on his appeal.

“In summary, this court considers whether there are any prospects of success on appeal and by so doing, the court balances the interest of justice against the individual’s liberty,” Justice Mawadze said.

“I have perused the 12 grounds of appeal, but my reading of the said grounds is that they can only be reduced to three grounds . . . There was no misdirection on the part of the court aquo, consequently there are no prospects of success on appeal.

“The applicant was properly convicted of the charge of public violence . . . On sentence, this was a serious offence, State property was damaged, police officers, journalists and other members of the ACCZ [Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe] were injured in the course of their duties. Therefore, a loud and clear message was sent by the court and I do not doubt that the five-year sentence was proper. As a result, I do not believe that the appeal court will interfere with the sentence.”

In his ex-tempore (unprepared) judgment, Justice Mawadze said Chokurongerwa was properly convicted and that the evidence against him was adduced from State witnesses who knew him prior to the day in question when the offence was committed.

The judge also said there was no question of mistaken identity since Chokurongerwa was known and that the offence was committed in broad daylight.

The court dismissed Chokurongerwa’s assertion that charges against him were as a result of political machinations.

The court also dismissed his alibi defence, saying the sect leader had failed to substantiate it, opting to simply tell the court that he was not in Harare when violence broke out at his shrine in Budiriro on May 30 last year.

Through his lawyer Tawanda Takaindisa, the sect leader had said he successfully set up an alibi defence which was never controverted by the State, but the judge ruled to the contrary.

Eleven members of Chokurongerwa’s church have since been jailed over the same charges that arose last year after they assaulted journalists, police officers and ACCZ members who had come to close down the church over allegations of child abuse.

4 COMMENTS

  1. ini ndirimunwe aipinda pasowe iri.Ndoda kutenda baba Ndanga nekutinunura paBudiriro. ACCZ hameno kuti makabva nekupi Mwari vakukomborereyi vana tavakuendesa kuchikoro.

  2. Nhai Zimbabwe nemaNGO tibatsireiwo pavana hobho vasiri kuenda kuchikoro plus counseling yevamwe vari traumatised. There was rampant women and child abuse at the shrine. Nothing was political as alleged by Ishmael but ACCZ was 100 percent right to liberate us.Surely we need help for the victims

  3. Every name has a meaning in it. The name Chokurongerwa means “one who is being plotted against” or “one who is being conspired against.” What a coincidence.Next time,think properly before you name your child.

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