'Prophet' jailed 20 years for rape

HARARE - A self-styled prophet who raped a woman during a healing ritual was yesterday jailed for 20 years.

Herbert Senda, 34, had denied the charges when he appeared before Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya but was convicted after full trial because of overwhelming evidence.

The State proved that Senda had threatened the woman with death if she disclosed the ordeal. Senda attempted to offer two residential stands and $5 000 to silence the woman from making a police report.

Prosecutor Michael Reza urged the courts to impose a stiff penalty that would deter would–be offenders.

“Your worship, such cases of church leaders that take advantage of their congregants and sexually molest them are on the rise and a clear message ought to be sent out there that our courts do not condone such conduct,” Reza said.

Reza proved that sometime in August 2016, the woman had personal problems and was referred to an apostolic sect in Budiriro 4 for prayers.

When she arrived, the woman consulted Senda and was told that her problem would only be solved during a ritual that involved having sexual intercourse with the man of cloth.

She was tasked to wash the prophet’s garments and was later accompanied 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 and moved to the back seat where the victim was seated.

Senda began fondling the woman and raped her before threatening her that if she discloses the sexual assault to anyone, he would spiritually notice and kill her.

The following day, Senda took the woman to the paddocks in Budiriro 4 on the pretext that he wanted to apologise for what had happened the previous day.

When they arrived, Senda apologised to the woman and she told him of her intentions to disclose the ordeal to her mother.

Senda began praying for the woman and later forced her to have sexual intercourse with him without consent.

The woman confided in her mother when she returned home and was accompanied to Budiriro Police Station to file a report.

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 began offering her $5 000 and two residential stands to drop the case but she refused.

He was subsequently arrested.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.