Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongerwa Mufani wept uncontrollably in court yesterday while defending himself in a case in which he is accused of public violence. Mufani said he was being “fixed” by Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president Bishop Johannes Ndanga for refusing to pray for him and former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru so they could take over leadership of the country.
He said Ndanga summoned him to his offices where he claimed that he had classified information that President Mugabe was going to step down, with Dr Mujuru taking over while he (Ndanga) deputised her.
Mufani also claimed that Bishop Ndanga said the country was sick and tired of being led by non-Christians hence the need for God-fearing people like Dr Mujuru and him to take over.
Until last week, Dr Mujuru was matron of ACCZ headed by Bishop Ndanga.
With tears trickling down his cheeks, Mufani told the court that he was not present when his followers allegedly attacked police and journalists at his shrine in Budiriro.
“Mambo wangu ndiri kufira mhosva yandisingazive. Ndiri kungoitirwa hutsinye. Mwari wangu wokudenga chaiye anoziva kuti ndanga ndisipo pakaparwa mhosva iyi. Ndanga is fabricating the case against me, this is political,” he said while crying.
He added: “When the police first came to my shrine in 2013 inquiring on how we conducted our church practices, they told me that Bishop Ndanga wanted to see us at his offices. I complied and went there with some of my colleagues. When we arrived, there were three portraits in his office. One bearing the President’s face was at the top followed by that of Mai Mujuru and lastly his (Ndanga).”
Mufani said Bishop Ndanga explained to them why the portraits were arranged in that order adding that he was going to tell them “classified information”.
A video clip in which the sect members were captured assaulting the police, journalists and ACCZ members was played in court and Mufani’s lawyer, Mr Tawanda Takaendesa, asked him to comment on the person in the video who was said to be him.
In the video, a man whom the State alleges to be Mufani is seen seated with other congregants and is the first to launch the attack.
However, Mufani vehemently denied that it was him in the video arguing that the person in the video had a black beard while his is white. He said the man in the video was Nesbert, one of the congregants.
“I am surprised that the State witnesses did not mention my name during the trial of my alleged accomplices who were jailed. I understand they nailed accused 18 as the one who started the vio- lence.
“Now that they are testifying in my case, they now allege that I am the one who started the violence. The inconsistencies of their testimonies are a clear indication that they are fabricating a case against me just to get back at me for refusing to comply with their demands,” Mufani said.
Magistrate Mr Milton Serima rolled over the matter to today for continuation of trial.
Prosecutor Mrs Francesca Mukumbiri prosecuted with the assistance of Mrs Devoted Gwashavanhu-Nyagano.