‘MY ONLY CRIME IS TAKING GOOD CARE OF 120 FAMILIES’

l Madzibaba Ishmael claims he is an angel in court hearing

l Reveals he suffered food poisoning and was now recovering 

Mathew Masinge

MADZIBABA Ishmael Chokurongerwa says his only crime is to have a good heart to take care of about 120 families housed at his Plot 6, Lily Farm, in Nyabira.

He made these claims during his bail application before Norton resident magistrate, Christine Nyandoro, yesterday.

Madzibaba Ishmael, who declined legal representation, said he was a reformed man and had no power over his congregants claiming he has led a violence-free life since his conviction in 2014.

He claimed he was recovering from a food poisoning incident that took place in September last year and it would worsen his condition if he was denied bail.

Together with seven other church members, Madzibaba Ishmael is facing charges of Contravening Section 3 (1) and (2) of the Burial and Cremation Act 5:03 and Section 7(1) and (5) of the Children’s Act 5:06.

His co-accused include Takavengwa Gwenzi (55), Siribiniyo Chikunire (53), Wonder Kabaya(41), Devlodge Katsande(47), Zebediah Sigudu(49), Aaron Chokurongerwa (47) and Shingirai Ngavafume (42).

They are expected back in court on March 19 for bail ruling.

The State said sometime in November 2023, Madzibaba Ishmael and his accomplices conducted burial for one Hazel Chikunhire and Winlet Kabaya, without a burial order issued, in violation of the Act.

Again, it is the State’s case that since 2019, Madzibaba Ishmael and others neglected, abandoned and exposed their children to various ailments, causing unnecessary suffering to the kids, whose health was heavily affected.

The State, through investigating officer Denote Muchichwa, opposed bail saying the eight will interfere with witnesses and continue to endanger their own children, if granted bail.

Muchichwa said the state, which they found the children in, was worrisome as they were being denied their right to education and proper health care due to their parents’ beliefs.

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