Apostolic sect says Zanu (PF) abducted prophet

Muzarabani, Zimbabwe - A prophet from the Jowani Masowe we Chishanu Apostolic church, who fled state sponsored political violence in 2006 and relocated to Mozambique, was last week abducted from that country by suspected by Zanu (PF) activists, according to church members.

A senior member of the church told Newsreel that Obey Wevalai Mapuranga was last Tuesday seized from his home in Bairro Canongola by three men driving a Nissan 4x4 vehicle. “They left a message to Obey's wife that if she wants her husband back she can come to the Zanu (PF) headquarters,’ he said. It was not immediately clear which Zanu (PF) headquarters the kidnappers were referring to, although the main one is in Harare.

The wife, who is said to be traumatised, has already made it clear she will not be following the instructions. The 24-year old Mapuranga fled from Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central province in 2006 and secured a job as a trainee leaf classifier with Mozambique Leaf Tobacco. He has been living with his wife Gertrude and one year old son Denzel. “The least we can suspect is that Zanu (PF) has been hunting down Obey from the time he came to Mozambique. He was a member of the MDC party and was openly critical of the Mugabe government,” an official based in the Mozambican town of Tete said.

The official, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, said they hoped publicising Mapuranga’s plight would help secure his release. ?

“We are still trying to gather more information about his whereabouts and we hope that this case will come out for the world to look and see what the government of Zimbabwe is still doing to innocent citizens of that country,” the church official said.

The official described Mapuranga as a reserved person and dedicated member of their church, adding that they wanted him to his family “in one piece”.

The Jowani Masowe we Chishanu (Friday Apostles) was formed in 1931 by Father Sixpence, a shoemaker from Gandanzara in Zimbabwe. Although the church has its roots in Zimbabwe it now has a presence in some parts of the Mozambique, especially in Maputo, Chimoio and Tete.