Apostolic sect leader Ishmael Chokurongerwa has been denied bail by Norton magistrate Christine Nyandoro.

He is jointly charged with seven other leaders of his church Johane Masowe, Gore Jena Penyera Nyika who have also been denied bail.

The eight will be back in court on April 4 for their routine remand.

In denying the group bail, the magistrate said there is need to protect the interests of the nation as much as bail is a constitutional right.

“Court will be guided by section 50 of the Constitution which provides that a person can only be deprived of bail if there are compelling reasons for bail denial.

“The State submitted that if released the accused are likely to interfere with witness and also that if released there will be public outrage and continued victimisation of witnesses.

“The accused said they will not abscond and not interfere with witnesses. They said they need to go back because lives of 120 depends on them.

The magistrate said the State’s reasons are quite compelling abd outweighed the accused’s submissions.

The accused are people of influence in their community and the likelihood of them interfering with witnesses is very high.

“In a nutshell the State has managed to provide compelling reasons and the accused will remain in custody. ”

They are represented by their lawyer Purity Chikanganise.

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