10 church leaders in sex scandals
By Memory Chinguwa
The ongoing trial of RGM Independent End Time Message church leader Martin Gumbura appears to have opened a can of worms as an increasing number of women are coming forward to report cases of sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of men of the cloth.
The Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ), a grouping of churches, last week disclosed that they have since handed over cases of suspected sexual abuse, spanning more than 10 churches, to the police for further investigations.
ACCZ president Archbishop Johannes Ndanga said the sudden increase in abuse cases that are being reported to his organisation shows that a number of women have for long been suffering in silence.
“Pastors from more than 10 churches stand accused of rape and sexual abuse. In some cases, the pastors are accused of acts such as drug abuse.
“We hand over all the reports we get to the police and as we speak all the cases relating to these 10 churches are with the law enforcement agents. It would appear the ongoing trial of Gumbura has given women the courage to speak out,” he said.
One of the cases that the ACCZ has since handed over to the police involves the founder of the Mount Olives Church, Wilson Duncan Kwambana, who is accused of seven counts of rape. In case number CR10/ 12 being handled at Harare Central Police Station, Kwambana is accused of luring the victim into being intimate with him through claiming that it was the will of the Holy Spirit.
In a sworn and signed statement, the alleged victim said Kwambana “prophesied” that he had seen that she possessed spiritual gifts hence he wanted to be close to her as they minister.
She alleges that her former pastor, who had a way of linking the Holy Spirit and the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda, is the one who deflowered her after getting the consent to do so from her boyfriend.
“On 2 June 2011 we went to Honde Valley in a mountain called Hwahwazira where he claimed that he wanted to unveil the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda. Pastor Kwambana told Tendai (the boyfriend) that he (Kwambana) was going to have sexual intercourse with me since I was still a virgin.
“There were six of us. I was not comfortable with that, but I was convinced I should do the will of God,” reads part of the statement.
She alleges that Kwambana went on to rape her five more times.
Police have since confirmed that they are investigating the matter amid suspicions that the pastor could have abused several other women who are, however, yet to report the cases.
The high-profile trial of Gumbura has triggered debate over the behaviour of men of the cloth with society eagerly awaiting judgment which is set to be delivered on January 8 next year. The Sunday Mail