Police are understood to have zeroed in their search for the Johanne Masowe eChishanu Budiriro 2-based sect leader, Madzibaba Ishmael Mufani, on his colleagues’ shrines in Harare although they also suspect he was moving between his relatives’ houses. Sources close to the investigations yesterday said they did not yet have an exact location, but were concentrating efforts on the above-mentioned places.
Madzibaba Ishmael’s home at Tabudirira Housing Co-operative in Budiriro remains deserted.
Police are also hunting down more sect members believed to have been involved in the violence after arresting 28 of them between Friday and yesterday.
Most of the arrests were made in the Green Valley area of Epworth.
Some Budiriro residents on Monday destroyed Madzibaba Ishmael’s shrine after he allegedly incited his followers to brutally assault rivals, police officers and journalists last Friday.
Seven police officers in riot gear, journalists and members of the ACCZ were seriously injured when the sect members attacked them with shepherd’s staff, sticks and stones as they sang “Hondo Yepfumo Neropa”.
This was after ACCZ president Archbishop Johannes Ndanga announced that the sect had been banned from operating in Zimbabwe because it violated national and Christian laws and norms.
There are allegations of widespread abuse of women in the sect, with children not being allowed to attend conventional schools.
Neighbours allege Madzibaba Ishmael had a mental illness that manifested in 2008, and that Madzibaba Enock of the Venguwo Tsvuku sect helped him stabilise for a while.
Madzibaba Enock told The Herald he had broken ranks with Madzibaba Ishmael when he started acting erratic and calling himself “God”.