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Zimbabwe: police question clergyman over 'anti-government' prayers

 Police in Masvingo summoned and questioned the former Zimbabwe Council of Churches human rights regional chair Sonykis Chimbuya over prayers alleged to be anti-government - the Daily News reported last Thursday. Chimbuya, a preacher with the Church of Christ in Masvingo, was summoned to the Criminal Investigations Department's Law and Order Section last week and ordered to desist from saying prayers that are political. He was released without being charged. Chimbuya said: "I was ordered not to say prayers which are political. They even told me that I should write down my prayers for them to scrutinise. They took my curriculum vitae and warned me to be careful with my prayers." Police in Masvingo confirmed that they questioned Chimbuya but declined to give details. Chimbuya said he was not a political activist but a preacher. "I just believe in peace and unity in the country," he said. "Our church is full of both MDC and Zanu PF supporters and we do not talk about that in the church." Sources said the police seem to have been concerned that Chimbuya was invited to pray before a rally which was addressed by opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) officials. The clergyman has also been invited to pray at functions organised by the militant Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. Chimbuya said his mere presence at such functions did not mean that he was an MDC activist. "I am just shocked. I have been invited to minister even at Zanu PF functions but that does not mean that I support that party", he said.