Using an unmarked T-35 Mazda vehicle, Zanu-PF youths rounded up Vapostori Church members in Southlea Park on the outskirts of Harare and forced them to a political rally on Sunday.
“We want everyone to be at the meeting because its ZANU-PF which made you stay here. It’s our party which fought for this country so that today you can worship here,” shouted one of the men who was leading the group.
Harare South is a vast open area between the city of Harare and the dormitory town of Chitungwiza. It is also a place for worshippers due to the presence of balancing rocks that bear religious symbolism to Vapostori.
On Sunday people dressed in white robes gather sometimes under trees but predominantly under the scathing sun and worship from dawn to dusk. However, last Sunday was different.
“We were forced to go to the rally because the Zanu-PF guys wanted to make us add to their numbers, we were forced to remove our garments and attend the rally,” said Elijah Ndoro. “We were told to purchase Zanu-PF membership cards and also to attend all future rallies or that we would loose the Churches,” said Ruth Makerenge.
According to the Union for Development of the Apostolic Church in Zimbabwe, or UDACIZA, 95 % of the Vapostori worship in the open, as they feel that the presence of God is restricted indoors.