Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
Harare magistrate Mrs Jessie Kufa on Thursday jailed a member of Johanne Marange apostolic sect for an effective 10-years after convicting him of aiding a prophet to rape a Grade Six pupil.
Marion Chindaro of Nyamande Village under Chief Chinamhora, pleaded not guilty to the charge, but was convicted after a full trial.
He was arrested for facilitating the rape by dragging the 14-year-old girl to a room where the sect leader Mike Kofi was.
Mrs Kufa initially sentenced Chindaro to 15 years in jail before suspending five years on condition of good behaviour.
In mitigation, Chindaro had pleaded for a lenient sentence saying he is a widower and father to two minor children.
Prosecuting, Panganai Chiutsi told the court that on March 10, the juvenile and her aunt went to Musana, Bindura, for a church conference.
While at the conference, her aunt went for prayers and left the complainant in a tent. A woman, whom the complainant identified as Mai Shalom, approached the girl and lied that she had been given permission by her aunt to take her to the shops where she needed assistance in carrying some goods and the girl complied.
The two boarded a kombi and dropped off near Nyamande Primary School after the woman claimed they were about to reach the shops. However, the woman took her to a homestead where there were several men, including Chindaro.
Chindaro grabbed the complainant and dragged her into a room and handed her over to Kosi saying “uyu ndiye murume wako” (this is your husband) before leaving the room. The sect leader locked the room and raped the minor once. The complainant escaped the following morning, but could not find the road as she was not conversant with the area. The court heard that the juvenile wandered barefoot the whole day and around 5pm met one Mercy Mazero and narrated her ordeal. Mazero accompanied her to Chinamhora Police Station where a report was made, leading to Chindaro’s arrest.