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Madzibaba Ishmael's Nyabira Cult Claim They're in Canaan

"People are no longer praying, hanzi tamirira kuti nyika iparare, tatova muCanaan" - Congregant

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Madzibaba Ishmael's Nyabira Cult Claim They're in Canaan

A cult which is led by self-proclaimed prophet, Madzibaba Ishmael Chokurongera, has come under the spotlight amid reports of questionable activities being done by the community there.

The followers, some of whom are said to be living in captivity at the complex created at Madzibaba's plot in Nyabira, call their home “Canaan.”

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Madzibaba Ishmael is called Mambo by those who live at his plot which is guided by some strict rules and regulations.

The cult members are not allowed to have any money or worldly possessions and sources have told H-Metro that girls were being married off at young ages of between 14 to 15.

The children who are being born out of these unions are not allowed to acquire birth certificates and are not allowed to go to school when they reach school-going ages.

Those who have tried to leave the community have been bullied into staying.

Sources claim that any member of the cult, who dies, is buried on the same day and no consultations are done with relatives.

Reports claim there are over 100 families, who all report and work for Madzibaba Ishmael, at the compound.

Speaking on Star FM’s Tilder Live, Memory Mukanairi (49) said she is battling to find out how her 27-year-old daughter died at the plot and was buried without her knowledge.

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Memory was married to Madzibaba Gideon (53), whose real name is Sibiniyo Chikurunhe. He is one of Madzibaba Ishmael’s elders.

Memory said:

We were not informed of her death and just heard the issue through neighbours.

We then went to the farm where we were advised to seek protection since they are reported to be violent.

The place is called Canaan and whatever they work for goes to the leader, Ishmael.

All the proceeds go to him.

My daughter died and was buried by four men who are not even related to her.

No one is allowed to have money in their pockets.

If you buy new clothes, you tell your husband who then advises Mambo Ishmael, but it can take up to a year usati wachiwana.

Even hembe dzemukati unoudza Mambo Ishmael.

For sanitary pads, ladies use cloths.

Madzibaba Ishmael's Nyabira Cult Claim They're in Canaan

Memory’s brother-in-law said:

We went as relatives and we had to seek protection from the police.

She died around 8am and around 2pm she had been buried without the knowledge of other authorities.

The police even failed to check the records if a death report was made.

The grave was just shallow and we don’t know if we were shown the actual grave.

The deceased girl’s brother said:

We went into the bush, handisati ndamboona guva rakadaro, kana panovigwa imbwa chaiyo hapadaro.

Kakomba kacho kanga kakutodhirika and we are told that they only wrapped the body and no coffin was used.

The graves are too many and zuva rafa munhu ndoraanovigwa.

Nenguva yavagara papurazi zvakatishamisawo kuti vanhu vanga vafa nguvai, kuti kufa rudzii?

Sources said Madzibaba Ishmael started his cult when he came out of prison.

After he was arrested, akaudza vanhu kuti endai kumamisha, when he came back he then invited us to stay at his farm.

He said, the world was coming to an end so we were supposed to go to Canaan and tisu taisara tichirarama.

We believed him since we thought he had the spirit of God. We would build shanty houses.

We would do farming at his farm, children vanenge vachibika chikafu, vachibika sipo.

Sipo idzi dzinobva dzaendeswa kune mamwe mapurazi dzotsvagiswa mari.

People are no longer praying, hanzi tamirira kuti nyika iparare, tatova muCanaan.

Hatitonamate, children are not allowed to go to school.

They don’t have birth certificates, hanzi vanozondipandukira.

Nothing is paid for lobola since kana wapinda muchitendero ichocho, hukama, pfuma haisisina basa.

No relative is allowed to see them once they get to that place.

Madzibaba Gideon told H-Metro that his ex-wife, Memory Munanairi (49), was just a bitter woman.

He said that their daughter died due to food poisoning and was buried in a proper manner.

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He accused Memory of trying to tarnish his reputation and that of their church by making false accusations.

He said they should have resolved their dispute in court instead of involving the media.


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