Self-styled prophet jailed 20yrs for rape

HARARE - A self-styled prophet, who is facing a litany of charges that include rape and attempted murder, last week breathed a sigh of relief after he was acquitted of the charge of attempted murder.

Hebert Senda was jailed, an effective 20 years behind bars, for rape on April 4 this year but successfully applied for bail pending appeal.

Senda was convicted of rape after the Harare Magistrates’ Courts established that in August 2016, he had preyed on a victim who had sought spiritual help from him.
He was also accused of trying to kill Blessing Chimbadzo, for reportedly persuading the rape victim to nail him.

Chimbadzo was said to have survived and reported the attempted murder to police.

Senda appeared before Harare magistrate Yeukai Chigodora yesterday and was acquitted at the close of the State’s case.

Chigodora ruled that evidence tendered before the court proved that there was bad blood between Senda and Chimbadzo which had now spilled into the courts.

She further noted that “no reasonable grounds had been advanced to necessitate the accused person’s conviction” and that the State “failed to establish the essential elements of the attempted murder charge.”

Senda had been accused of attempting to kill Chimbadzo after he bundled him into a car with the help of two other accomplices following a raid at his home in Southlea Park.

According to the court, on June 15, Chimbadzo was at his house when Senda and two accomplices, who are still at large, arrived armed with a knife and an axe.

It was alleged that Senda sent one of his accomplices into Chimbadzo’s yard. The accomplice lied that he was Chimbadzo’s friend.

When Chimbadzo opened the door, he saw Senda and the other two men who allegedly blindfolded and bundled him into a waiting car before driving to Southlea Park Dam.

When they arrived at the dam, it was alleged Chimbadzo was forced out of the car and had his hands and legs tied before being wrapped in a green fishing net.

Senda allegedly tied a 43kg stone to Chimbadzo and threw him into the dam intending to drown him.

He hit a hard surface and sustained a deep cut on the back of his head and became unconscious, forcing him to gulp large amounts of water.

Chimbadzo was rescued by fishermen who discovered him in the water during their fishing excursion, the State alleged.

The fishermen assisted him in getting medical attention at Harare Central Hospital.

Chimbadzo sustained serious injuries.


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