By Tarisai Machakaire
A self-styled Epworth prophet who raped a 19-year-old woman during a cleansing ceremony will spend the next 14 years behind bars after he was found guilty of rape.
Regina Chinyanga, 31, was convicted of the rape charge after a full trial heard before Harare regional magistrate Temba Kuwanda.
Prosecutor Valerie Ngoma urged the court to impose a stiff penalty that would deter like-minded individuals from committing similar offences.
“The accused person took advantage of the trust bestowed upon him by the victim who looked up to him as a spiritual leader and the court should consider that offences of this nature are on the rise,” Ngoma said.
“He exposed her to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and a message ought to be sent that our courts do not condone such behaviour. A custodial sentence will meet the justice of this offence.”
Ngoma proved that on April 24 around 10 am, Chinyanga went to a certain hill near Ruwa River where he claimed he would remove evil spirits tormenting the woman.
When they arrived at the hill, Chinyanga took the woman under a Muhacha tree where the ritual would be conducted.
He then gave her a bottle of bitter water to drink and she felt dizzy before falling unconscious.
When she woke up Chinyanga was already having sexual intercourse with her without the woman’s consent.
She realised that her dress had been lifted up to her breasts and underwear removed by Chinyanga.
Chinyanga immediately stopped having sex with the woman fled from the scene.
An unidentified lady accompanied her home.
She also advised her mother about the incident and was accompanied to file a police report leading to Chinyanga’s arrest. DailyNews