Madzibaba Ishmael Nailed For Thwarting Police Investigations
19 June 2024
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By A Correspondent| Forty-eight children at Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurengerwa’s farm had no birth certificates and he allegedly hindered authorities to conduct full investigations, a witness told the court this morning.

Chokurongerwa (54) and his seven congregants, Takavengwa Gwenzi (55), Siribiniyo Chikunhire (53), Wonder Kabaya (41), Devlodge Katsande (48), Zebedia Sigudu (49), Aaron Chokurongerwa (47) and Shingirai Ngavafume (42), all from Lilly Farm in Nyabira are facing three counts of ill-treating children, conducting a burial without a burial order and failing to give notice of the birth and death of a person.

The State this morning also led evidence from the village head Nzwanai Musonza who expressed shock, hearing that Chokurongerwa and team conducted burials without notifying authorities.

He said he would be called to the funerals and assumed they were all legal.

District public prosecutor, Tafara Chirambira and prosecutor Ms Sheila Mupindu also led evidence from an officer from the births and deaths registration department Mr Farai Gatusa who went to Lily farm.

He told the court that when they visited the farm they were hindered in conducting their duties by Madzibaba Ishmael.

He said he observed graves shown to them by the Chokurongerwa and that about 48 children did not have birth certificates.

He was made to comment on birth certificates produced by the defence lawyers stating that they had been obtained in June which is different from what they saw initially. He said they went to the farm in March.

He questioned their authenticity saying they were all obtained on the same day, in June, way after the trial had started, perhaps to counter the offence.

The suspects, represented by Musindo Hungwe have denied the allegations saying they did not have a guardian obligation on the minors, hence it was not their duty to take care of them.

They highlighted that none of the alleged victims nor their parents have lodged a complaint with the police, hence the State should not be crying more than the bereaved.

They further stated that they did not conduct any burial of any person without notifying authorities.They also submitted that they were not the only adults at Lily Farm.