Members of the Vapostori worshiping at a shrine in Harare.( photo: M. Chibaya)

Members of the Vapostori worshiping at a shrine in Harare.( photo: M. Chibaya)

The leader of a UK-based Vapostori sect is threatened with eviction from his home after neighbours complained that the chanting by his group during early morning prayers was disturbing their sleep.

Learnard Radzokota, known as Madzibaba Isaiah, leads the Apostles Friday sect which is based in the South Yorkshire town of Barnsley.

But the 54 year-old may need heavenly help after irritated neighbours on the New Lodge estate wrote to his landlords saying they had had enough of the chanting by his group during 5:30 am masowe sessions in the woodlands behind their homes.

Radzokota said most people were keen to understand more about his group but others were not impressed with having their early morning snooze disturbed.

“(Some residents) just wrote letters to Yorkshire Housing saying because of the praying in the wood, and at our house, we need to be removed from our accommodation.” He said.

He however, said his white-robbed group had no choice as they had no building to worship in.

“As we do not have a permanent place to worship in Barnsley, we sometimes carry our early morning prayers in the wilderness,” he said.

“In Africa, all our church members carry out their services in the open space, commonly called wilderness, because by praying in the wilderness we are close to nature and God.”

Celia Casham, of Yorkshire Housing, said they supported people’s right to choose where to worship.

“However, it was brought to our attention that religious meetings hosted by Radzokota, at his home, had been causing a level of noise which has affected his neighbours at various times of the day,” she said.

“We are keen to work with Radzokota and his neighbours to find a compromise which suits both parties.

“We have been trying to help Radzokota find a more suitable venue for his religious meetings such as a local community centre or church hall.”

Madzibaba Isaah’s group is one of many Vapostori sects that have sprouted across the UK in recent years.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans moved to the UK in the last decade to escape the economic and political crisis back home.

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