Harare High Court Rejects Bail Appeal for Madzibaba Ishmael

April 4, 2024
Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongerwa 1200x670 | Report Focus News
Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongerwa

The Harare High Court today delivered its verdict on the bail appeal of Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongerwa, the 54-year-old leader of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu Apostolic religious sect, affirming the decision to keep him in custody. Chokurongerwa’s appeal was part of a broader case involving seven other individuals, all of whom had previously seen their bail applications rejected by a Norton Magistrate.

Contrastingly, the court granted bail to the remaining seven accused, marking a partial victory for the defendants. These individuals are scheduled to return to court on April 5, 2024, to finalize their bail conditions.

The case, set to commence on May 7, 2024, at the Norton Magistrates’ Court, has attracted considerable attention due to the nature of the charges. The eight individuals are accused of contravening the Burial and Cremation Act and the Children’s Act, stemming from their alleged failure to obtain proper burial orders for Hazel Chikunhire and Winlet Kabaya and the neglect and abandonment of children at their religious compound.

Shingirai Ngawafune, Takavengwa Gwenzi, Zebedia Sigudu, Devlodge Katsande, Wonder Kabaya, and Siribinio Chikurunhe, the co-accused alongside Chokurongerwa, are implicated in a case that has raised significant legal and ethical concerns. The state alleges the improper conduct of funeral services and the exposure of children residing at the sect’s compound in Nyabira to harmful conditions.

As the case unfolds, the community and legal observers are closely monitoring developments, with the welfare of the involved children and the adherence to lawful burial practices at the forefront of concerns.