Johane Marange ignore lockdown as thousands gather for festival


MWENEZI – Hundreds of members of the Johane Marange sect are gathered for a festival at Lundi Business Center in Mwenezi and their presence has sent chills down spines of the locals who fear a Covid-19 breakout.

The Mirror visited the place of gathering on Wednesday and found the church members living in tents pitched all over the place.

The festival which will run for a number of days paid little attention to lockdown rules including the declaration by President Mnangagwa that you can only have 50 people at a church gathering.

All the children did not have masks while some parents sat in groups chatting without any masks. There is no thermometer as per WHO regulations for such gatherings. The blair toilets at the place are filthy and there is no place for dumping rubbish.

Mwenezi District Development Coordinator (DDC) Rosemary Chingwe who is the chair of the local Covid-19 Taskforce referred questions to the Assistant DDC, Nyaradzo Tongofa who said that she was not aware of the gathering.

Chief Chitanga said he was aware of the church gathering but he did not know that the congregants were violating lockdown rules. He urged the district taskforce to intervene as a matter of urgency.

Christopher Zhou, a resident said the congregation is increasing daily and posing a Covid-19 outburst threat.

The people gathered at Lundi are from Mberengwa, Mwenezi and Chikombedzi.

Lazarus Negari from the Church’s security department said there were plans to clean the toilets and dig a pit for dumping rubbish.

The congregation is expected to disperse next week.

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