Zimbabwe: 5 Sect Members Accused of Killing Colleague

Harare, Zimbabwe - FIVE members of a Vapostori sect from Silobela are alleged to have brutally killed a colleague they suspected to be a wizard using logs, a knobkerrie and an axe during a church service.

The five suspects, church leader Andrew Virimayi (22), Abel Ndoro (16), Stanley Tazvivinga (28), Jonathan Tazvivinga (26) and Trymore Mahanyange (28), all from Chief Makoko's area, were not asked to plead when they appeared last Wednesday before magistrate Mr Tinevimbo Gatawa for initial remand facing murder charges. Mr Gatawa opposed bail because accused one, Virimayi, was likely to abscond as he was of no fixed abode while the other four had no assets and were not employed.

It is the State's case that on April 27, the five, who are members of New Apostolic Faith Church together with the now deceased identified only as Langton, were attending a church service at the deceased's homestead.

During the course of the church service, Virimayi, a self-proclaimed prophet allegedly pointed out that the now deceased, Langton was a wizard and assaulted him with a knobkerrie several times.

When the deceased fell down, Virimayi ordered his followers to strike the deceased with logs, an axe and a knobkerrie. They allegedly crushed the deceased's head and chopped off his right hand resulting in Langton dying on the spot. His body had multiple cuts all over due to the gruesome assault.

The State is likely to draw its witnesses from the church members, among them, the five accused persons' wives who witnessed the killing.

Ms Rufaro Mupandasweka prosecuted.