For talking during a sermon, a 21-year-old man and a boy, 14, were hauled over the coals – literally – and sustained burns under their feet.
Police say they have charged six members of the True Gospel Apostolic Faith Church with assault following the bizarre incident at last Sunday’s service in an open space near the Chitungwiza Industrial site.
Assistant Inspector Tarirai Dube, the acting police spokesman for Harare, said: “The two victims were accused of talking while the church leader Justice Nguni was addressing at the church service on Sunday at around 9AM.
“It is alleged that as punishment, the two victims were forced to stand near a fire place while the six suspects were on guard, holding their hands in a circle so that they would not escape.
“The two eventually fell onto the fire, resulting in the 21-year-old being seriously burnt on both legs and feet, while the 14-year-old suffered burns on his left leg and under both feet.”
The two victims are being treated at Chitungwiza Central Hospital where they are reported to be in a stable condition.
Nguni, 35, and congregants Courage Macheka, 24, Martin Mazvazvido, 43, Jesca Mushakavanhu, 40, Clifford Murota, 37, and Richard Rushaya, 16, are all due in court this week where prosecutors are set to charge them with assault.