Members of the Apostolic sects Saturday snubbed the burial of Zanu PF politburo member and former Cabinet minister Nathan Shamuyarira at the national Heroes’ Acre in Harare.

Only a handful of them turned up to listen to President Robert Mugabe officiating at the event.

Usually, the Vapositori, who are well-known for their support of Mugabe’s Zanu PF party would pack State funerals, turning their section of the national shrine into a sea of white with their religious attire.

The Standard could not immediately establish whether the poor attendance from the men of the cloth yesterday was a show of solidarity with fellow sect members who are currently locked up in prison for assaulting police officers in Harare last week, or whether it was out of fear of arrest.

The bays at the national shrine that had become traditionally theirs were yesterday empty.

Over 30 members of the Johanne Masowe weChishanu apostolic sect led by one Madzibaba Ishmael Mufani have been arrested over the assault and injury of anti-riot police officers, journalists and officials from the Apostolic mother body at a shrine in Harare’s Budiriro 2 high-density suburb.

They were denied bail by Harare provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe and are currently trying to secure freedom at the High Court.

On May 30, Ndanga went to Madzibaba Ishmael’s Budiriro shrine in the company of 26 police officers to announce the ban of the church for alleged abuse of girls by the male sect members.

The abuses included denial of education for the girl child and marrying them off at a tender age. It was also alleged that fathers tested their daughters’ virginity by inserting their fingers into the girls’ private parts.

ZBC journalists Relax Mafurutu and Tichaona Meza, nine police officers and ACCZ member Langton Muchena sustained serious injuries.

Zanu PF youths in the company of the police and ACCZ members later demolished Madzibaba Ishmael’s shrine.

Police are still hunting down Madzibaba Ishmael, who is still at large.

MDC-T officials were also conspicuous by their absence at the funeral with only the party’s acting guardian’s council president Sekai Holland gracing the event as she usually does.

Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai has repeatedly snubbed the burial of heroes.

He has often accused Zanu PF of bias in the selection of heroes.

Yesterday Mugabe scoffed at the MDC- T and once again described party members as zvitototo (rejects) who do not deserve to be honoured because they had done nothing to the country except selling out.

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