High Court judge Esther Muremba has granted $100 bail to each of the 24 members of the Johane Masowe WeChishanu accused assaulting police officers and a journalist.
Allegations against the 24 are that on May 30 at Budiriro 2 Park, Johanne Masowe weChishanu sect site run by Madzibaba Ishmael Mufani – who is still at large – they were worshipping at the shrine when violence broke out.
The court heard that ACCZ executive president Johannes Ndanga and a 26-member delegation that included anti-riot police details and journalists arrived at the church which had been earmarked for closure following allegations of women and child abuse.
Some of the congregants allegedly challenged Ndanga to read his speech in Shona claiming they were not conversant with English. Ndanga is alleged to have ordered the police details to arrest one of the congregants who kept interjecting his speech.
Other congregants then turned violent and charged at Ndanga.
Men congregated at the site allegedly started throwing stones and assaulting police officers, ZBC journalists Relax Marufu and Tichaona Meza and an ACCZ delegate Langton Muchena, the court heard.
Those that were attacked sustained serious injuries.
A ZBC truck was damaged on the rear and front windscreen, and a tripod camera stand valued at $1 350 was damaged.
Madzibaba Ishmael and some of his followers are reportedly on the run. NewsDay