By Tarisai Machakaire
A self-styled prophet, who was early this year slapped with a 20-year jail term for rape, allegedly tried to kill a man he suspected of nailing him during his trial, then later offered him a car, money and residential stand to silence him from reporting the attempted murder, a court heard yesterday.
This was revealed by miraculous survivor Blessing Chimbadzo during “prophet” Hebert Senda’s attempted murder trial.
Senda was jailed for rape on April 4 this year but successfully applied for bail pending appeal.
Chimbadzo, the man he allegedly tried to kill for persuading the rape victim to nail him, survived and reported to police the attempted murder despite attempts to induce him not to report the case.
A Harare court heard yesterday that after Senda realised that the matter had been reported to the police, he allegedly transferred $300 to Chimbadzo and also promised to give him a car and residential stand to drop the matter.
“I told him that I could not withdraw the matter because my life was more important that what he was giving me,” Chimbadzo told the court yesterday.
“Police had tried to arrest him on two occasions, but failed. I do not know how he was eventually arrested.”
Senda vehemently refuted the claims and said the charges had been fabricated because there was a dispute over land between the parties.
Senda said there was no coherence in Chimbadzo’s evidence and that he had fabricated four other cases against him to bring him down.
Senda has been accused of attempting to kill Chimbadzo after he bundled him into a car with the help of two other accomplices following a raid at his home in Southlea Park.
According to the court, on June 15 Chimbadzo was at his house when Senda and two accomplices, who are still at large, arrived armed with a knife and an axe.
It was alleged that Senda sent one of his accomplices into Chimbadzo’s yard. The accomplice lied that he was Chimbadzo’s friend.
When Chimbadzo opened the door he saw Senda and the other two men who allegedly blindfolded and bundled him into a waiting car before driving to Southlea Park Dam.
When they arrived at the dam, it was alleged Chimbadzo was forced out of the car and had his hands and legs tied before being wrapped in a green fishing net.
Senda allegedly tied a 43kg stone to Chimbadzo and threw him into the dam intending to cause his death by drowning.
He hit a hard surface and sustained a deep cut on the back of his head and became unconscious forcing him to gulp large amounts of water.
Chimbadzo was rescued by fishermen who discovered him in the water during their fishing excursion, the State alleged.
According to State papers Chimbadzo was in the water for some time and was rescued by Ophias Mhembere, Resuance Chaitezvi and another Good Samaritan unknown to the victim.
The three assisted in filing a police report against Senda and Chimbadzo was referred to Harare Central Hospital for medical examination.
A medical report that was compiled will be produced in court as evidence.
The stone was weighed and recorded 43kg.
The fishermen assisted him in getting medical attention at Harare Central Hospital.
Chimbadzo sustained serious injuries which needed sutures. Senda was convicted of rape after the Harare Magistrates Court established that in August 2016 he had preyed on a victim who had sought spiritual help from him.
Prosecutor Michael Reza said that sometime in August 2016 the woman had personal problems and was referred to an apostolic sect in Budiriro 4 for prayers.
The woman consulted Senda and was told that her problem would only be solved during a ritual that involved bedding him.
She was tasked to wash the prophet’s garments and later accompanied him to a house in Budiriro where she would do the ironing.
They left the residence around 11pm going back to the shrine and along the way Senda stopped his car, fondled and raped her before threatening her with death if she disclosed the ordeal to anyone.
Senda raped her again on the pretext that he wanted to apologise for what had happened the previous day.
The woman was later kidnapped and dumped in Chivhu by Senda’s “men” and sought help from highway vendors to return to Harare.
When Senda heard that she had safely returned, he offered her US$5 000 and two residential stands to drop the case but she refused and he was subsequently arrested. DailyNews