Madzibaba Ishmael’s  defence lawyer falls  sick, stalls trial Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongerwa

Prosper Dembedza

Herald Correspondent

The trial for Apostolic Sect leader, Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongerwa (54), and his seven accomplices, who are facing allegations of contravening sections of the Burial and Cremation Act and the Children’s Act, could not commence yesterday, following reports that their lawyer was sick.

The lawyer, Ms Purity Chikangaise, sent a sick note with another lawyer, indicating that she was ill and could not attend court.

Chokurongerwa, Takavengwa Gwenzi (55), Siribiniyo Chikunhire (53), Wonder Kabaya (41), Devlodge Katsande (48), Zebedia Sigudu (49), Aaron Chokurongerwa (47) and Shingirai Ngavafume (42), all from Plot 6, Lilly Farm, Nyabira, are facing three counts of ill-treatment or neglect of children, conducting a funeral service/burial without a burial order and failure to give notice of the birth and death of a person.

They appeared before Norton magistrate, Mrs Christine Nyandoro.

The State, led by District Public Prosecutor Mr Tafara Chirambira, last week made an application for confirmation of warned and cautioned statements.

Chikunhure, Kabaya, Aaron Chokurongerwa and Ngavafume had their statements confirmed.

With the statements confirmed, the State will seek to use them as part of its case. Katsande and Sigudu’s statements were not confirmed as they denied that they gave the statements to the police freely and voluntarily. Four witnesses will testify in court.

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