Tanaka Mrewa, Court Reporter
A MADZIBABA in Bulawayo has been fined $300 for assaulting a fellow congregant who had refused to adhere to his ‘prophecy’ demanding all congregants to shave their heads with the same razor blade.
He will serve three months in jail if he fails to raise the fine by June 30.
A court heard that the defiant congregant was hospitalised after the assault.
Steven Mukozhiwa (39) told worshippers that God had shown him that everyone should be bald-headed for their next service.
Garments flew as Mukozhiwa from New Magwegwe suburb used the apostolic sect’s trademark shepherd’s crook to beat up Mr Seppyoggi Rutendo Mthethwa (22).
He was opposed to having his hair cut with the same blade that had been used on others, citing the risk of diseases.
The court heard how Mukozhiwa flew into a rage when Mr Mthethwa refused to be shaved.
He hit Mr Mthethwa all over the body with the stick and head butted him on the mouth during the church service at a bushy area near Davis Granite on March 12.
Mr Mthethwa sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).
West Commonage magistrate Mr Steven Ndlovu convicted Mukozhiwa of assault.
He fined him $300 to be paid by June 30.
“Failure to pay the fine will attract an effective 90 days in prison. A further 6 months in jail will be wholly suspended on condition of good behaviour,” he said.
Mukozhiwa tried to plead with the court for a lighter sentence saying he had used a switch to assault Mr Mthethwa.
“Your Worship, l assaulted him with a switch not a stick. I did not intend to cause harm or injury. I was angry when l committed this offence,” said Mukozhiwa.
Prosecuting, Ms Sibekithemba Dube said on March 12 at around 3PM, Mukozhiwa was shaving congregants’ heads with the same razor blade as per his “prophecy.”
Ms Dube said when it was Mthethwa’s turn, he refused to be shaved saying that he feared for his health.
“The accused person became angry with the complainant’s conduct, took a stick and started assaulting the complainant all over the body several times. He further head butted the complainant until he sustained serious injuries,” she said.
Ms Dube said Mr Mthethwa reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of his fellow Madzibaba.