The permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana says church leaders are also to blame for some Covid 19 deaths being recorded among the unvaccinated.

He says pastors and prophets should come out urging their congregants to get vaccinated.

“I am going to be blunt (as usual). Men of cloth are responsible for a number of deaths among the unvaccinated.

So, it is quite helpful when some like Pastor Charles Charamba come out in support of the vaccination programme. They are saving lives,” he says.

Recently, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights petitioned the Zimbabwe Republic Police for allegedly failing to bar apostolic sects from conducting gatherings.

Apparently, the police few days ago arrested two Johane Masowe eChishanu apostolic sect leaders from Hurungwe for convening a gathering in violation of Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Officer commanding Hurungwe district Chief Superintendent Helina Mahonde warned church members to desist from illegal gatherings as these had proved to be “super-spreader” events.

“I would like to confirm that the police have arrested two church leaders of Johane Masowe eChishanu sect for convening a gathering during the lockdown,” Mahonde said.

“The two are Moffat Phiri (34) and Emmanuel Bango (28) both from Chikuti in Hurungwe district.

“The two convened a gathering for the purpose of worshipping on July 15, 2021 at around 12.00 hours at Magaisa business centre near Kasimure.

“We received a tip-off from members of the public and police reacted swiftly and found a group of 40 members of the sect gathered at the shrine. They will appear in court soon,” she told a local publication.