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Freddy said he “succumbed to nature” after raping my niece: Chief Chikwaka testifies

Chief Chikwaka (Murambiwa Witness Bungu) on Wednesday testified in the trial of Goodness and Mercy Ministries Church leader Prophet Tapiwa Freddy on rape charges saying the cleric claimed he “succumbed to nature” after allegedly raping his niece.

The chief took the witness stand and told the court that his niece, the ZBC presenter, cried while telling him that Freddy “succumbed to nature” and forced himself on her on their return from her rural home in Chiendambuya.

She further claimed, the chief said, Freddy promised to marry her.

“There are many issues, but he forced my niece to be intimate with him. My niece called me and she was crying. She failed to clearly explain her case. I asked her why she was crying and she told me that Freddy had taken her as a wife.

“I asked what caused the prophet to do that and she said Freddy had accompanied her to her rural area in Chiendambuya.

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“She told me that she was overpowered because of her other amputated hand. I asked her if she had reported it to the police and she said ‘No.’ She indicated that it occurred on the previous night and I advised her to report the matter to the police. She promised that she was going to report.”

Chief Chikwaka added that when he made a follow up on whether or not his niece had reported the case to the police, he found out that the two had now fallen in love.

“She said she was going to accept his proposal. She told me that he had apologised after the rape incident because he was overcome by nature, which resulted in forced intimacy.

“She said he promised to marry her. I told her that it was up to her to report or not since she was a grown up who could handle her own issues,” he said.

Freddy’s lawyer during cross-examination then asked the chief to comment on assertions that his niece only made rape allegations because she was regretting being intimate against her traditions, Chief Chikwaka said: “I was told that when they returned from her rural home she gave the accused a place to rest. I cannot say where he was supposed to sit.

“She told me that he started touching her. I cannot go deep into how she was touched or where she was touched.

“Let us all not pretend as if we are English people who do not understand what I mean when I say she was touched,” he said.

On the Complainant’s version that Freddy grabbed her while she was seated on a chair, declared that he was her husband and raped her, Chief Chikwaka said: “I don’t know what she told the court because I was not there. I can only say what she told me. She told me that she decided to love him afterwards.”

Chief Chikwaka further told the court that he decided to call Freddy at his homestead after his niece raised fresh complaints of physical abuse and disturbances at his work. He decided to call police to the meeting since rape allegations had been raised against Freddy.

“She called me in August 2021 and she was crying. I assumed her grandmother had passed away since she was sick. She told me that she was being abused by the accused. It boggles my mind considering they had promised to get married,” he said.

The matter was remanded to the 24th of January with the State expected to call one of the police officers who attended the meeting at Chief Chikwaka’s homestead. Nehanda Radio