A church belonging to the Apostolic sect of the Johane Masowe weChishanu in Glen Norah A, Harare, was yesterday burnt down in a suspected case of arson.

The incident occurred at around 9am while church members had gone to Chitungwiza for their church service.

It is understood that there was a dispute over ownership of the land on which the church structure was erected, with an unnamed co-operative claiming that the church was built on their property. Police arrested two suspects in connection with the matter.

Harare provincial spokesperson Inspector Tadius Chibanda confirmed the incident and said police were investigating a case of malicious damage to property.

“It is alleged that members of a co-operative and the church were fighting over a piece of land where members of the church worship at. So it is said members of the cooperative burnt down two gazebos and a toilet as a way of trying to evict them,” Chibanda said.

“So we are investigating a case of malicious damage to property that is what has been reported in Glen Norah, but their issue is also in the courts about that same piece of land.”

An elder with the church Madzibaba Sheminaie Katuruza said they were informed of the incident while they were on their way to Chitungwiza for a church gathering.

“Unlike other Sundays, today (yesterday) we had gone to Chitungwiza for our gathering, that is where church service was today. We understand that the people who burnt the place are from a co-operative nearby. When we got here everything was burnt down,” Katuruza said.

“There were people’s belongings in the gazebos which include blankets, phones, shoes, our cups and plates which people leave when they go for a church gathering.

We are really disappointed by what has happened and we want the police to get to the bottom of this and arrest all people who are behind this.

“Just last week there was a meeting and it was resolved that no one should interfere with anyone’s property, but this is what they have done to our place.”

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