Zimbabwe: Congregants Go Berserk

Ten men from a Shurugwi church were last week jailed for an effective 40 months each for assaulting villagers whom they accused of beating a fellow congregant.

Bright Chiviviti (28), Charles Ndhlula (44), Taurai Homera (44),Jeremiah Nhatare (38), Josphat Geja (21), Silas Muhlanga (28), Gideon Geja (36), Tapiwa Mutasa (34), Lazarus Nhatare (34) and Tyren Zireva (41) appeared before Shurugwi resident magistrate Sithabile Zungula facing public violence charges.

Prosecutors said the 10 went on a rampage beating villagers, including children, whom they accused of harbouring criminals who allegedly assaulted their fellow church member, Tafadzwa Nhatare.

They said on October 21 last year at Shayamavhudzi village under headman Mudzengi in Shurugwi, the men invaded homes of villagers assaulting them with iron rods, throwing their belongings out and pouring water on their foodstuffs.

Several villagers sustained injuries as a result of the violence. A police report was made leading to the arrest of the men.

Zungula sentenced the men to 48 months each, but suspended eight months on condition of good behaviour.

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