Multiple rapist Madzibaba Godfrey Nzira has been freed from a Zimbabwean jail after serving only half of his concurrent 15-year sentence for raping seven women amid reports his pardon was part of a well knitted plot by President Mugabe’s Zanu PF to feed on his booming sect membership to boost its ranks and remain in power.
Nzira is one of the Johane Masowe WeChishanu Apostolic Church leaders, an African church with thousands of membership formed in the 1930s. But he was better known for heading the African Apostolic Faith sect. Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa freed Nzira ostensibly on health grounds, freeing the sexual predator convicted in 2003 of sexual battery, lewd and lascivious assault of several women.
He was caged amid protests by women outside the courts. One placard said: “Nzira rot in jail.” Now he has been freed in what sources say is an apparent maneuvre to exploit the religious charisma of the sect leader Nzira to bolster the Zanu PF membership hoping to reverse diminishing support since the 2008 vote.