Zimbabwe: Sect Leader Resists Immunisation, Attacks Cop

Hwingwiri Village, Zimbabwe - THE leader of a Johane Masowe Chishanu Apostolic Sect in Gutu is accused of brutally assaulting an armed policewoman who tried to convince him to get his seven children immunised against the seven child killer diseases last week.

Richard Takawira (50) of Hwingwiri Village under Chief Makore reportedly floored the policewoman -- who was armed with an FN rifle -- as she assisted health personnel at Hwingwiri Business Centre under the national immunisation programme.

Allegations are that Takawira told Constable Sibonginkosi Moyo, as she lay on the ground after the attack, she would have to first shoot him dead before he would allow anyone to immunise his children.

Takawira has since appeared before Gutu resident magistrate Mr Amos Mbobo facing charges of assaulting a policewoman carrying out her lawful duties.

Takawira -- who is denying the charges -- was remanded in custody to Thursday for trial.

Charges against Takawira arose last Saturday at Hwingwiri Business Centre during the national immunisation programme against the seven child killer diseases.

It is alleged that Takawira went to the business centre with his seven children and fellow sect members for a reason yet to be established.

Health personnel, accompanied by uniformed police officers, reportedly asked him to allow his children to get the inoculations, but he refused, arguing their sect had its own ways of dealing with diseases.

An altercation allegedly ensued between Takawira and health workers, prompting Const Moyo to try and calm the situation.

This, it is alleged, did not go down well with Takawira who attacked Const Moyo.

It was at this point that Takawira, the court was told, said Const Moyo must shoot him if she wanted to get to his children.

Sect members restrained their leader and police managed to arrest Takawira.

Mr Tedious Muchangani appeared for the State.