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Prophet Magaya rape witnesses develop cold feet

by Staff reporter
11 Mar 2024 at 11:34hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) says it is still pursuing a case in which PHD Ministries leader, Walter Magaya, is being accused of allegedly sexually abusing women despite indications that some of the witnesses have developed cold feet.

In 2019, ZGC invited victims to come forward as part of its investigations following several complaints against the prophet.

The notice says victims or witnesses to acts of sexual abuse by the prophet are supposed to furnish the commission with "written complaints, witnesses' statements and any other supporting documents or evidence which can assist in the investigation". It said oral hearings would commence thereafter.

ZGC chief executive officer, Virginia Muwanigwa, told NewsDay last week that the commission is actively pursuing the case.

"The case is still on-going, the case is still open," she said despite admitting that some witnesses were not forthcoming.

ZGC chairperson Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe also said they were still waiting for more women to come out as they continue with investigations.

"We saw some social media posts where several people were making claims on the issue and indicating where they stay but they are not coming through," she said.

"We do not know why the women have stopped coming through."

After the commission's notice for victims to come forward, Magaya approached the High Court for a provisional order for the setting aside of investigations.

In the application, Magaya averred that the investigations by the respondent may irreversibly violate his constitutional rights. He also feared that he would suffer irreparable harm. The application was dismissed with costs.

He appealed at the Supreme Court which upheld the High Court ruling. In 2019, online reports claimed that Magaya had allegedly paid the commission to escape charges.

ZGC had to issue a statement dismissing the bribery allegations which it said were aimed at soiling the commission's image.

Magaya has been paying huge sums in out-of-court settlements. Since the inception of his church in 2010, Magaya has been accused of allegedly bedding some of his congregants.

He is alleged to have raped a female congregant in August 2015 at one of his houses in Mt Pleasant.

The State alleges he forced the victim to terminate her pregnancy after the alleged abuse before buying her silence with US$100 000.

The alleged victim, however, withdrew charges against Magaya before the trial commenced.

In 2019, one Molly Maenzanise accused the PHD Ministries leader of raping and impregnating her daughter in a video that went viral. However, the alleged victim later took to social media to dismiss the rape claims.

In another case, church members Charity Dlodlo and Sarah Maruta approached a local news outlet claiming to have been abused by Magaya.

They later withdrew their claims.

Source - newsday