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Madzibaba Ishmael ‘Look-alike’ Dents State Case

There was drama in court yesterday when Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongerwa Mufani brought a defence witness who then testified that he was the man in the video, and not Mufani. Madzibaba Mufani is facing charges of public violence, but is denying the charges arguing that he was not at the church shrine on the day the offence was committed.

Some of the State witnesses who testified identified Madzibaba Mufani in the video which was played in court.

In the video, a man whom the State alleges to be Mufani is seen seated with other congregants and is the first to launch an attack on the police.

Madzibaba Mufani brought a member of his sect, Nesbert Jachi, who is of the same height and wears a long beard as his witness.

The video was again played and Jachi told the court that it was him appearing in the video.


He said Mufani was not present on the day in question, arguing that witnesses who testified before were lying against Mufani.

“It is me in the video and if you take a closer look, the person you are saying is Madzibaba Mufani has black beard and Mufani’s is white,” said Jachi.

Jachi said he had no reason to lie before the court but was only there to tell the truth.

He added: “The person in the video has thick lips and my nose is the same as that of the person in the video. It is me in the video,” he said

During cross-examination, prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri told Jachi that he had just helped the police from the Law and Order to apprehend another suspect since he had confirmed that he was the one who walked towards the police singing “Umambo Hwepfumo Neropa”.

“Witness, are you aware of the effects of being an imposter? You have just assisted the police from the Law and Order section to arrest another culprit. That man in the video was the first to launch the attack so you are going to be arrested,” said Ms Mukumbiri.

In response, Jachi said he did not care about being arrested adding that it was better to be arrested for telling the truth.

Another witness who testified, Bongani Magwenzi, also exonerated Mufani saying he was not at the Budiriro shrine on the day in question.

His line of answering questions was the same as that of Jachi.

Magistrate Mr Milton Serima rolled over the matter to today when a fourth defence witness is expected to testify.


Mufani is being represented by Mr Tawanda Takaendesa.Herald