Zvamaida Murwira: Senior Reporter
Some of the State witnesses in a rape case in which Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader, Prophet Walter Magaya has been facing, are allegedly trying to extort him of $500 000 for them to testify in his favour in the event that the clergy’s trial proceeds, it has been learnt.It also emerged that there is 30 minute long video evidence showing the two witnesses demanding the money in a meeting they held with one of the witnesses’ office.
The case has since been referred to the Constitutional Court after lawyers representing Prophet Magaya challenged the decision by the State to proceed with trial despite an affidavit by the complainant withdrawing the case saying she misled authorities.
In an interview yesterday, PHD chief spokesperson and senior overseer, Mr Admire Mango, said Prophet Magaya had resisted attempts by some two witnesses, one of whom is a senior police officer who had been making a spirited demand of $500 000.
Mr Mango said the witnesses have since posted on social media a heavily edited video in which they sought to create an impression that Prophet Magaya had admitted to the charge when in actual fact the video showed how the witnesses sought to demand money from the man of cloth.
“If they were acting in good faith they should have posted the whole video which is 30 minutes long and not what they did so that people make their own independent judgments without being swayed by the edited version.
“They have posted a three minute video by deleting the portion in which they were demanding $500 000. Initially the senior police officer wanted to extort Prophet Magaya $100 000, but he was steadfast in resisting that,” said Mr Mango.
“The fact of the matter is that these witnesses sought to extort Prophet Magaya using a guy called Kudakwashe alias Ranjisi who stays in Chitungwiza. Initially the senior police officer, who is an Assistant Commissioner made a demand of $100 000 which was turned down. He then instructed his lawyers to demand that same amount under the guise that he had been defamed by Prophet Magaya. Our leader, has however, remained steadfast in resisting the demand, ” said Mr Mango.
While the rape trial has been scheduled for February 20 this year, it is unlikely to be heard since his lawyers have since approached the Constitutional Court challenging the decision by the prosecution to proceed with the trial notwithstanding the withdrawal of the charge by the complainant.
The effect of the Concourt challenge is to stay proceedings of a lower court hence trial was unlikely to proceed on February 20, 2017. In her affidavit withdrawing the case, the complainant said she had misled authorities when she made a rape charge against the clergyman. The lawyers want the Concourt to make a determination on whether Prophet Magaya’s rights were not being violated by the prosecution’s decision.
A Harare magistrate Court has since removed Prophet Magaya from remand pending a Concourt outcome.