Over 100 Zanu (PF) youths descended on the shrine destroying and torching anything in sight, in retaliation to the recent bashing of police officers, officials from the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe and a ZBC cameraman, Relax Mafurutu, last week Friday.
The shrine that belonging to followers of Apostle Madzibaba Ishmaea Mufani, had items torched by the youths who denounced the sect for ‘beating up President Robert Mugabe through bashing of the riot police’.
Police spokesperson, Snr Ass Com Charity Charamba, told The Zimbabwean to make a research on whether the Zanu (PF) youth had committed a crime or not.
“When the police was attacked at the shrine you did not seek my comment regarding what that would mean at law.
“All of a sudden as media you are concerned about the torched Apostles’ property. Do a research and define what crime the youths committed before coming back to me after two hours,” said Charamba.
People in Harare described police inaction as an expose of Police double standards when dealing with crime.
Stella, from Budiriro said as citizens they were not surprised with the blind eye cast by police regarding the Zanu (PF) behaviour, since it was rare for known Zanu (PF) supporters to be arrested.
“Naturally as citizens we would expect police to make arrests for arson and any other related charges,” said Stella, noting that one crime would not be addressed by committing another crime.
Never Mugwagwa, a petrol attendant in Harare described police inaction as recipe for disorderliness.
“If the youths who torched the property at the shrine go scot-free, it would create a wrong impression that some citizens were above the low,” Mugwagwa said.
MDC-T spokesperson and lawyer, Douglas Mwonzora, said the youth committed a crime prosecutable under malicious destruction of property.
Mwonzora said: “The crime was committed against the state which should naturally prosecute.”
Respected Human rights lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, said: “If property is abandoned it would belong to the community.
“Anyone who destroys property with value would have caused malicious damage to the property and would be liable for prosecution,” Muchadehama said.
In the Budiriro case, Muchadehama said, police could make arrests on behalf of the community.
Some residents said if the police had interests to arrest, it would do so with little difficulties since the culprits were captured on camera and publicised in the media.
Last week Friday some riot police officers were bashed by members of the sect, after they had accompanied ACCZ Bishop, Johannes Ndanga, to the shrine to pronounce the banning of the sect.
The sect was accused of violating rights of the congregate.
According to Ndanga, the sect forbids children from attending school, promotes child marriages and discourages members from owning electrical gadgets such as television and radio sets among many others.
Some 25 church members suspected to have participated in the violence have since been arrested.
Three of them appeared before the Harare Magistrates’ Court and remanded in custody to June 16.
Zanu (PF) spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, had no time to comment as he said “call me later I am in a meeting.”Post published in: News