On Friday, some riot police, journalists and photographers were subjected to a beating of unparalled comparison. In one of the high density surburbs of Harare, an apostolic sect of a church was confronted by the Archbishop of that church, police and media, with the intention of closing down that sect. It had been accused of horrid abuses on women and children, and the parishioners were also told that things like newspapers, cellphones and TVs were evil and should not be used.
There are a few issues about this incident that I would like to touch upon. To begin with, it is sad that these women and children when being abused in the manner that they were. Apparently the sect had sanctioned that if you wife isn’t a virgin when you marry her, the man can take the younger sister (if there is one) as a second wife if she herself is pregnant.
Also the sect didn’t feel that women and children should have a right to get an education. These are things that are abhorrent and to be honest I do not agree with one bit. It is very backward. Yes Zimbabwe may be a rather backward country, but this is just too much. The last accusation laid against the sect I will not mention as it is something that just upset me when I heard about it. If enough people ask me about it i may mention it in the comments.
Anyway what started off as a routine procedure of shutting down a heinous situation that women and children when being put through turned into a fight that the riot police were not expecting. These “men of God” gave some of the police the hiding of their life. It is apparent that the sect was waiting with their breath held for the arrival of the police. It seems that they were prepped on the imminent arrival and were possibly convinced that they had to fight for their right to worship.
Of course after showing the police a little bit of How’s your father, the sect ran to ground, and have since managed to disappear of the face of Harare, with their family members none the wiser as to where exactly these men have gone. A hunt has begun, but ultimately this is a battle that no one can win.
This incident has made me think about one thing in particular and I remember saying it the day it happened. I wasn’t aware that the incident was actually going down, but we were talking about a topic loosely related to what happened. I said to some of my work colleagues that “the moment a person becomes bigger that the religion his parishioners are following, that becomes a problem.” I in fact was talking about another self styled prophet we have in this country who has been known to sell face towels to his followers and tell them that if they go and wipe a car they like they will eventually own that car.
I am not saying that I am necessarily smarter than some of these people, or not as desperate as them. It does make me worry that there are some people who can be easily manipulated into believing whatever the person at the front wants you to believe.
Ultimately the police were not going to win any fight against a religion. There are somethings that lose fights. Religion isn’t one