The body of the baby, who was buried at the Madzbaba Ismail shrine without the mother’s knowledge, is expected to be exhumed today at Lily Farm in Nyabira.

Zakira Al-Maknairi appealed to the authorities to exhume her child’s body from the grave.

This will be the second time the body has been exhumed from the shrine.

The exhumation of the body of the late Professor Itai Moati, who died under mysterious circumstances in the same shrine, was the first of its kind.

Professor Mwati’s brother has since made sensational claims that the late professor was murdered and accused Madzbaba Ismail and a number of his followers, whom he named, of committing the murder.

Professor Mwati is said to have been killed after he decided to leave the sect because he no longer agreed with some of the things that were happening at the shrine.

A large police presence is expected at Lily Farm today for the exhumation process in case there is resistance from some members of the sect.

Some families, who have various complaints against the sect and its leadership, also indicated that they would benefit from the large police presence to visit the farm.

“We will take advantage of the police presence to go visit our relatives detained there.

“It was a restricted area, but the police assured us of our security,” a family member said.

A number of people have contacted H-Metro to inquire whether they would be safe if they visited the farm to look for their relatives, especially young women, who are believed to have been married off to Madzbaba Ismail’s men.

Madzibaba Ismail was denied bail in the High Court yesterday on the day seven of its members were released on bail.

He will remain in detention until his trial begins on May 7.

He was arrested along with church leaders Takafenjwa Gwenzi (55), Seribinyo Chikuniri (53), Wonder Kabaya (41), Devlodge Katsande (47), Zebediah Cejudo (49), Aaron Chukurungirwa (47) and Shinjirai Ngavaphum (42).

However, Judge Rodgers Manyangadzi said the judge, who denied bail to Madzibaba Ismail’s seven accomplices, erred in adopting a pursuit approach and failed to identify the cult leader.

Judge Rodgers Manyangadze allowed the seven accomplices’ bail appeal to succeed while denying Madzbaba Ismail’s release.

Madzbaba Ismail and his accomplices are accused of contravening Section 3 (1) and (2) of the Burial and Cremation Act 5:03 and Section 7 (1) and (5) of the Children Act 5:06.

The trial of the eight men did not begin yesterday before Judge Christine Nyandoro after the session turned into a contest between the state and defense lawyer Purity Chikangis.

The State Prosecution requested a month to complete all its investigations, noting that the indictment was almost complete, but needed follow-up at the request of the Registrar General.

The registrar indicated that there was a possibility of adding more charges to the two charges that the sect leaders were facing.

She also noted that she still faces challenges in estimating the ages of more than 200 minor children who were enslaved on the Madzbaba Ismail farm in Nyabira.

The state said it could only be ready for trial on May 7 and that it was gathering enough evidence and could only proceed based on the Form 242 on file.

This did not go down well with Madzbaba Ismail’s lawyer, Purity Chikangis, who claimed that the state was deliberately delaying the trial.

Chikanjis said that the state had pledged in the previous pretrial detention date that it would proceed with the trial before changing its position yesterday.

She wondered why the indictment was not in court or with the National Prosecuting Authority.

The request for an adjournment was granted and the case was adjourned to May 7 for trial. h metro

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