A self-styled prophet from Chivi communal lands has been jailed for an effective 14 years for raping an 18-year-old woman he was assisting and infected her with HIV.
Hupenyu Muhwati, a member of Johane Masowe Apostolic Church from Muzondo Village under headman Makonese in Chivi was tried by Masvingo regional magistrate Ms Dambudzo Malunga and convicted of multiple rape.
The court found Muhwati told the young woman who consulted him that her sickness was caused by a goblin or spiritual husband and she could only be healed if she slept with him.
Magistrate Malunga described Muhwati as someone unfit to live with others in the community.
Prosecutor Mr Liberty Hove told the court that in November 2018, Muhwati told young woman’s mother to leave her at his homestead for him to pray for her. In January 2019 at around 4pm, Muhwati ‘prophesied’ that the woman was being tormented by a ‘spiritual husband’ and insisted that he should sleep with her to exorcise the demon.
Muhwati took her for routine prayer in the nearby bush at around 8pm, forcibly kissed her and raped her.
Muhwati told her that if she divulged the incident, it would be very difficult for her to rid herself of the spiritual husband.