HARARE – The State has roped in President Robert Mugabe’s allies and sympathisers to nail activist clergyman Philip Mugadza who was nabbed for prophesying that the 93-year-old leader will die in October this year.
The called in witnesses include Chief Negomo, Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president and fierce pro-Zanu PF archbishop Johannes Ndanga, Mugabe’s nephew and Red Fox Hotel owner Robert Zhuwawo and Harare provincial administrator Alfred Tome.
Interestingly, Negomo in 2012 fined Mugabe’s long-time rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, two cattle and two sheep, among other penalties, for marrying Locadia Karimatsenga-Tembo in November — a month viewed as sacred in the Shona culture.
Leader of the Kariba-based Remnant Church, Mugadza told journalists in January this year that he had received a prophecy from God that Mugabe would die on October 17.
His trial commences on Wednesday next week, April 5, at Harare Magistrates’ Courts, with the willing witnesses expected to testify against the pastor.
Early this month, Mugadza was freed on $50 bail after spending over a month behind bars following his arrest in January over the controversial “prophesy”.
The outspoken and unrelenting cleric faces six months’ imprisonment or a fine of $200, if he is convicted under Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
In making his controversial “prophecy”, Mugadza had also said that the nonagenarian could escape death by praying fervently, fasting and publicly announcing that he did not wish to die.
“I am not saying I am going to be killing him on October 17, so there is no way anybody can say to me what you have done is wrong. I am not going to be killing anybody, I am only saying what God told me, that he is going to die,” he said then.
He also faces another charge of public nuisance after holding a one-man anti-government protest last year.
Mugadza first hit the headlines in December 2015 when he mounted a one-man protest against Mugabe in Victoria Falls during Zanu PF’s national conference at the resort, where he held a placard that read: “Mr President, the people are suffering. Proverbs 21:13.”
In April last year, he also chained himself to a pole while holding a cross in one hand and a Bible in the other, in a daring protest action in Harare.