Clergyman convicted over anti-Govt protest; ordered to perform community service

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By Staff Reporter

A 52-year-old clergyman and an apostolic sect leader, has been convicted over holding an anti-government protest.

Kanyenzura Parere, a Bishop of Mirirai Jehovha Apostolic Church was convicted after a full trial.

He is also the president for an opposition political party, Zimbabwe Transformative Party (ZTP).

His deputy Simon Goshomi confirmed the conviction.

“President Parere Kunyenzura of Zimbabwe Transformative Party has been found guilty and will do community service. He is scheduled to be released tonight from Harare Remand Prison,” he said.

His lawyers said Parere has been “convicted of contravening Maintenance of Peace and Order (MOPO) Act after he allegedly convened a gathering in 2022 & led an unsanctioned procession of his church members while protesting & singing a gospel song with the lyrics “Emmanuel tisunungureiwo tanzwa ne nhamo” loosely translated to Emmanuel save us from bondage,” said Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

34 of his congregants who participated in the protest were convicted of criminal nuisance in November last year.

They however escaped jail time after they were given a wholly suspended three months sentence.

They were also ordered to pay ZW$12 000 fine each by Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje.

All the convicts belong to ZTP.

They were arrested by the police on July 9, 2022 and charged with criminal nuisance.

Prosecutors proved the group unlawfully acted in a manner which was likely to create a nuisance by walking in Harare’s central business district disturbing free passage and movement of people and vehicles.

The state said they did not comply when they were ordered to stop.