Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
A Harare lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya has testified in the ongoing trial of Abundant Life Church founder Bishop Danmore Magorimbo, who is accused of raping his congregant.
Mr Rubaya confirmed that he advised the husband of the victim to report to the police after ascertaining that the woman had not consented to sexual intercourse with the man of the cloth.
He told the court that the woman’s husband had approached him for legal assistance since he wanted to file for adultery damages.
“As I was taking instructions from the complainant’s husband, it was clear from the recorded conversation that the sexual intercourse was not consensual,” said Mr Rubaya.
“I then received a letter dated October 15, 2014 with reference of admissionof guilty from Magorimbo.
“After a number of days, I received a statement from my client which he said was written by the complainant and from that letter I picked up four issues.
“I noted that the sexual intercourse referred to in the audio, which act was admitted by the accused, was not just a sexual act.
“Indications were that the act was sanctioned by God and again it was a spiritual operation meant to cleanse the complainant from evil deposits deposited by her husband.
“The ‘spiritual operation’ was meant to render complainant’s husband powerless. I then advised my client that the statement showed that she had been brainwashed and indoctrinated into believing that the sexual act was the will of God.”
Mr Rubaya said he then advised the woman and her husband to make a report to the police pressing for rape charges instead of claiming adultery damages against Magorimbo.
Regional magistrate Mr Adonia Masawi remanded the matter to Monday next week for continuation of trial.
Allegations are that sometime in April last year at the church’s premises in Belvedere, Harare, Magorimbo approached the woman, who was in the prayer room, and invited her to his office claiming he wanted to conduct a cleansing ceremony to drive away some evil spirits.
In the office, Magorimbo allegedly misrepresented to the woman that her husband transmitted evil spirits into her body each time they had sex.
The following day, Magorimbo allegedly called the woman into his office and raped her.