A senior member of the Budiriro-based Johanne Masowe eChishanu church whose members beat up riot police has now sensationally claimed the incident was triggered by attempts to force them to back Vice President Joice Mujuru.
As the succession war in Zanu PF gets nastier, Madzibaba Spatwell Obey Marewo claims Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president Johannes Ndanga banned their church after it declined to back his push for Mujuru to ascend to the presidency.
Marewo Marewo quoted Ndanga having said: “… we hear you prayed for our party to win the elections but our problem is we are tired of being led by heathens.
“So currently, I am lobbying the president to create a ministry of religion led by an Apostle. After that we would want to sign a pact with Zanu PF which should see us land the post of the vice president. As your colleague, I (will) take that post, but it requires us to work together as a united entity.
“So we want you to help our patron Mai Mujuru ascend to the presidency without any hurdles. That will be our starting point as the apostolic sects, once we are agreed all these stories in the press about child abuse will be thrown away because we know they are lies.”
Ndanga rubbished the claims saying “everyone who knows me will tell you I would never say that. Those are lies by people with a hidden agenda, who want to orchestrate a smear campaign against me for the work I am doing. I would want to read that document first then give you a proper response.”
But in the dossier, Marewo further said Ndanga claimed he had an arrangement with Mugabe that apostolic sects should not be harassed.
“I have an agreement with the President (Mugabe), I don’t need an appointment to see him, I just call him and he can even adjourn an important meeting just to see me,” Marewo quoted Ndanga allegedly saying.
In response to Ndanga’s demands, Mufani is alleged to have told the ACCZ leader that his congregants were not allowed to delve into the country’s politics.
“On your request for us to pray for mother (Mujuru) we cannot, because we have not been asked (by the Holy Spirit) and because this country can never be ruled by a woman so we cannot go against God’s command,” Mufani allegedly retorted.
Ndanga is said to have reacted angrily to Mufani’s response. He allegedly said the sect would be harassed by the police and subsequently banned.