TWENTY FOUR members of the controversial Johanne Masowe eChishanu sect arrested for assaulting cops have all but remanded themselves in custody after failing to raise bail money imposed by the court.
Justice Esther Muremba granted the group $100 bail each on Friday despite submissions by prosecutors they each pay $10 as they did not have any traceable source of income.
But it emerged by end of business Friday that the group, all men, had no penny to their names.
Their lawyer Obey Shava said only $200 had been raised through well-wishers out of the total $2,400 required for them to secure their freedom.
"Things are not looking well for, as we speak, the 24 accused have managed to raise only $200 through the efforts of well-wishers," Shava told NewZimbabwe.com.
"We are not quite certain as to whether they will be able to raise the remaining $2,200 for them to be released from remand."
The Vapostori group is accused of public violence, charges which stem from a widely publicised May 30 incident in which they allegedly clobbered a group of police officers and journalists.
Police had visited the Madzibaba Ishmael Mufani-led Budiriro 2 shrine in Harare accompanying Bishop Johannes Ndanga, president of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ), who had gone to announce a ban on the church.
The attempted ban on the sect followed claims of rampant child abuse by the church, among a number of religion-related transgressions.
When bail was granted, overjoyed wives and relatives of the group, who during court proceedings wore pensive faces, held an impromptu mini-church service outside the court building to thank the Creator for their husbands' new found "freedom".