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34 Vapostori Fined US$18 After Spending Nearly 5 Months In Prison

Thirty-four (34) Apostolic sect congregants who were on trial facing charges of staging an anti-government protest were Monday fined $12 000 (about US$18) each after spending nearly five months in remand prison.

The congregants were led by opposition Zimbabwe Transformative Party (ZTP) leader Kanyenzura Parere (52), a bishop of Mirirai Jehovha Apostolic Church.

They were arrested in July and charged with criminal nuisance as defined in section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for singing a gospel song “Emmanuel tisunungureiwo tanzwa nenhamo,” a song deemed to be offensive to the State, and hindering the free movement of people and vehicles.

They declined to apply for bail. The congregants are:

1. Simon Goshomi, who is ZTP’s vice president;

2. Richard Mhurushoma, the party’s chairperson;

3. Fortune Chapeyama, who is ZTP’s secretary-general;

4. Prince Mukozho,

5. Solomon Duwa,

6. Shongai Mushinje,

7. Noah Dabvu,

8. Jasper Muringanidza,

9. Honoured Mutangadura,

10. Sherperd Mutsonhi,

11. Edson Shonhiwa,

12. Chaora Rovesai,

13. Tafadzwa Musere,

14. Tsverukai Harava,

15. Shamiso Majecha,

16. Runia Musere,

17. Margret Chibwana,

18. Sakile Nkomo,

19. Helen Kuudzewe,

20. Liah Munakandafa,

21. Victoria Changadzo,

22. Restar Kunyenzura,

23. Emmanuel Musere,

24. Godfrey Mashava,

25. Givemore Bandera,

26. Pangai Kurehwatira,

27. Edward Mhindu,

28. Leon Mukopfa,

29. Pride Charedzera,

30. Irvin Musenze,

31. Jefta Takaedza,

32. Thomas Zengeya and

33. Felix Zengeya.

In passing the sentence, Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje said they were all first-time offenders.

The maximum sentence for the office is six months and they have been in prison for five months.

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