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Madzibaba Ishmael arrested along with 7 cult members for abusing minors

An apostolic sect leader and self-proclaimed prophet, Ishmael Chokurongerwa (56), along with several members of his congregation, were apprehended on charges of engaging in criminal activities, including the exploitation of minors.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi announced the arrests, disclosing that Chokurongerwa and his associates, namely Shingirai Ngawafune (42), James Gwenzi (55), Zebedia Sigudu, Devlodge Katsande (45), Aaron Chokurongerwa (47), Wonder Kabaya (41), and Siribinio Chikurunhe (53), were taken into custody following a police operation at Lily Farm in Nyabira.

During the operation, authorities discovered alarming conditions: out of 251 children below the age of 18 residing at the farm, 246 lacked birth certificates and were being exploited for labor.

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These minors were deprived of formal education, forced into manual labor under the guise of learning life skills.

Further investigation revealed disturbing findings: 16 unregistered graves were found on the premises, nine for adults and seven for infants. None of these burials had been officially registered with the Registrar-General’s Office as mandated by law.

In an unrelated incident, tragedy struck on Tuesday in Mutare when a Toyota Fortuner veered off the road, striking a group of children waiting to cross at the 2km peg along the Christmas Pass-Shamu Road.

Three children lost their lives in the accident: Blessing Chisaria (9), Silvian Maponde (13), and Strive Maponde (7), all residents of Grange, Toronto at Chirochangu Plot. Another child sustained injuries but survived the ordeal.

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