Church blamed for Masvingo murder

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Walter Mswazie recently in Madenga Village, Masvingo
THE family of a Masvingo man who was allegedly fatally axed by his wife before she burnt the body beyond recognition barred members of a local church from speaking at the burial on Tuesday, accusing them of causing the death.

Mavis Madenga (33) of Madenga Villager under Chief Mugabe allegedly admitted to killing Joseph Marisa (40) on Saturday at around 3AM after an argument over her infidelity that had been exposed at the Saint John Apostolic Church.

She reportedly told investigators that she committed the crime because she could not bear her husband’s silence after he discovered that she was cheating.

The couple had a misunderstanding after Mavis had allegedly admitted to a prophet at Saint John Apostolic Church that she had slept with six men.

The situation was tense as villagers unanimously agreed with the mourning families that members of the sect should not be allowed to speak.

The mourners said the church and an unidentified prophet at the sect, who allegedly exposed Mavis, were responsible for the tragedy.

“If the ‘bogus’ prophet had not carelessly revealed Mavis was cheating, she was not going to kill her husband. If he was a true prophet, he was going to foresee the consequences of his actions. Now six children are fatherless and their mother is going to prison,” charged an angry family member.

Only the level headedness of the Marisa family saved the church members from a possible beating.

A mourner, Mr Emmanuel Munika of Village One said Marisa’s church played a role, though indirectly, in the tragedy because it is was after the prophecy that a misunderstanding ensued between the couple.

“While we do not exonerate Mavis of the heinous crime she committed, the said prophet is equally at fault. So you mean the church members are happy to see Joseph lying in the coffin with only a heap of bones remaining from his body? These people should not be allowed to preach anywhere,” said Mr Munika.

Pastor Hebert Nkomo, the Saint John Apostolic Sect Church leader, yesterday said the church had no case to answer and was also mourning the untimely death of one of its congregates. “I was unfortunately not there when the prophecy was done and Mavis’s philandering was uncovered but I was told by other church elders. We are guided by the Holy Spirit and we detest all sins with adultery considered the worst of them all, alongside murder,” said Pastor Nkomo.

“It is, however, the family’s prerogative to stop us from preaching or allowing us.  We do not have any problem although we had a few words for our late congregant.  As a church we have our own way of making our flock remain obedient. Anyone who transgresses will be caught by the Holy Spirit and charged accordingly. We do not have a case here.”

He said Mavis was caught on the wrong side of the church’s law and what the prophet did was still within the confines of the religion but no one expected her to commit murder as alleged.

“Coincidentally three days before the tragedy, our prophet had phoned the late Marisa to take part in a prayer session. The prophet had envisioned something that he wanted to communicate to him but unfortunately he was away in Kwekwe,” said Pastor Nkomo.

The Madenga family has paid 13 of an agreed 23 head of cattle, with the balance payable within three months, as compensation to Marisa’s family.

The family on Tuesday publicly declared that Mavis was promiscuous and shouldered the blame for Marisa’s death.

— @walterbmswazie3

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