Magaya rape trial date set for April
The High Court has set the trial date for Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walter Magaya who is accused of raping his congregant, a university student.
Magaya is now facing three charges of rape, unlawful termination of pregnancy and obstructing the course of justice.
According to court papers, stamped on January 5, Magaya’s trial will commence on April 3.
Initially, he was only charged with rape and in December 2016 he was granted leave by Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti to approach the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to challenge his indictment for trial.
This was after the victim allegedly withdrew the matter.
Muchuchuti ruled that it was no longer in dispute that the matter had been withdrawn and that there was no evidence from the State to challenge the fact that the withdrawal was done freely and voluntarily.
She said the State was duty-bound to call the complainant to clarify on the issue of the withdrawal if it suspected she was coerced to drop the charge.
In September last year, Con-court threw out Magaya’s application in which he was seeking to have the matter dismissed.
A full Constitutional Court bench dismissed Magaya’s application citing some irregularities in the prophet’s application.
The stylish prophet’s attorney, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, unsuccessfully argued that there was no need to try Magaya because the complainant had not only withdrawn the charges but also revealed that she made a false rape report.
But the state insisted on trying the prophet on the basis that the witness was interfered with.
State prosecutors said they have in possession an affidavit filed with the Harare magistrate’s courts in which the student claimed that she was being threatened by some people whom she declined to name to withdraw her “false charges” against Magaya.
Magaya is accused of raping a Midlands State University student at one of his residences in Harare before giving her $200. NewZimbabwe.com