Zimbabwe News

Madzibaba Ishmael out on US$500 bail on murder charge

The leader of an alleged religious cult, Ishmael Chokurongerwa, who is facing murder charges, has been released on bail.

Chokurongerwa, better known as Madzibaba Ishmael, and his co-accused Siribhino Chikurunhe and Wonder Kabaya were on Tuesday, 14 May, granted US$500 bail each by High Court judge Justice Esther Muremba.

It is the State’s case that on November 12, 2023, the accused connived to terminate Hazel Chikurunhe’s pregnancy, resulting in her death.

The trio allegedly secretly buried Chikurunhe at Chokurongerwa’s shrine in Nyabira without following due procedure.

Her body was exhumed recently, leading to the trio’s arrest.

Chokurongerwa, Chikurunhe and Kabaya are represented by Purity Chikangaise of Maphosa and Ndomene Legal Practitioners.

Madzibaba Ishmael is also facing charges of having sexual intercourse with five underage girls between 2018 and 2024 resulting in the birth of several children.

Besides the charges mentioned above, Madzibaba Ishmael, together with six other Johanne Masowe Yechishanu apostolic sect leaders are facing three counts as follows:

1. Ill-treatment or neglect of children (involving 41 children)

2. Conducting a funeral service/burial without a burial order

3. Failure to give notice of the birth and death of a person.

The other accused persons are Shingirai Ngawafune (42), Zebedia Sigudu, Devlodge Katsande (45), Aaron Chokurongerwa (47), Wonder Kabaya (41) and Siribinio Chikurunhe (53).

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