A self-proclaimed prophet of the Johanne Masowe weChishanu apostolic sect in Kwekwe has been slapped with a 36-year jail term after he raped and infected a congregant with HIV.
Wellington Gase (36) of Torwood, Redcliff, infected his victim with HIV after he raped her instead of giving her spiritual healing. He pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Gokwe-Kwekwe regional magistrate Mr Amos Mbobo.
He was facing three counts of rape. Gase was convicted and sentenced to 36 years. Six years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
In passing sentence, Mr Mbobo said the court took into consideration that cases of sexual abuse of children were rampant and only a stiffer sentence would send a message to would-be offenders.
Prosecutor Ms Mary Chapinda told the court that on January 12 this year, Gase was approached by the complainant’s mother after she suffered from continuous menstrual cycle.
He promised to perform healing sessions for three days. Ms Chapinda said the mother agreed to leave the girl in Gase’s custody. Gase raped the complaint on three occasions.
This was after he threatened to bewitch the girl’s mother and other relatives if she refused to be intimate with him. Gase also threatened the victim, forcing her not to report the matter. The girl reported the abuse to her mother on January 21, leading to Gase’s arrest.
A medical report was produced in court and it showed the victim was HIV positive.
Meanwhile, another prophet allegedly raped a 17-year-old congregant during a church service, writes Fungai Lupande. Jameson Denhere (39) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe yesterday charged with rape.
He was remanded in custody and advised to seek bail at the High Court.
Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that Denhere, of Nyakudya Village under Chief Chinamhora, attended a church service with the complainant.
He started praying for people some distance from the congregation. Denhere allegedly grabbed the complainant when it was her turn for prayers and had anal sex with her against her will.
The court heard that the complainant screamed for help, but no one came to her rescue. After the sexual assault Denhere freed the complainant and ordered her to join other congregants.
She revealed the matter to one Linda Murwira who alerted church leaders.
Upon interrogation by church leaders Denhere admitted to fondling the girl, but denied raping her. The complainant later fell sick and was taken to hospital where the abuse was confirmed. Denhere was arrested.