Police dither on dispersing Mapostori

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MEMBERS of the Johane Marange apostolic sect remain gathered in their thousands for their annual festival in Bocha, Marange in Manicaland province, with the police maintaining they are unaware of the illegal gathering.

The gathering started on July 3 and is set to end on July 17.

Church gatherings are banned under the safety measures government imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 which has wreaked havoc in the country, killing over 2 000 people since March last year.

On July 12, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) wrote to police demanding the dispersal of the gathering, and on the same day, the Marange Development Trust and Bocha Development Community Trust gave the law enforcement agents a 48-hour ultimatum to act, but police yesterday professed ignorance on the gathering.

“I am not aware of that. I may need to find out from the respective province. I am also not aware of the alleged rallies,” said national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi when asked about the selective application of COVID-19 restrictions by police.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Luxon Chananda also said he was yet to go on the ground to verify.

“We are yet to check on the ground,” Chananda said.

ZLHR yesterday said the police had not yet responded to its letter demanding that the gathering be dispersed.

“No response yet to the Mapostori letter,” ZLHR lawyer Peggy Vaswera said.

Herald

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