HARARE provincial magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe yesterday relaxed some of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries founder Walter Magaya’s bail reporting conditions for alleged rape after the State conceded that he was not a flight risk.

Magaya, who is being accused of sexually abusing a female congregant, had been initially ordered to report three times a week at Harare Central Police Station.

“He was released on bail with stringent reporting conditions and, through his lawyer, he petitioned the court to have his reporting conditions relaxed to once every week because of the nature of his work. Since he has been reporting religiously, he is not a flight risk and the application is hereby granted,” Chikwekwe ruled.

During his court appearance, which was attended by hundreds of his congregants, Magaya, through his lawyers Admire Rubaya, Everson Chatambudza and Oliver Marwa, said he had various projects spread throughout the country and needed more time to visit them.

“He has a number of projects he has embarked on and they are spread all over the country and it’s now difficult for him to travel even to Bulawayo. It is in the interest of justice that the conditions should not be punitive. He has religiously reported at Harare Central Police Station and has been abiding by court’s order,” Rubaya said.

Rubaya also notified the court that he intended to apply for temporary release of Magaya’s passport between now and the next remand date, September 28.

Magaya is alleged to have raped the woman last year and offered her $200 at a house in Mt Pleasant, a charge he has denied.

Sebastian Mutizirwa prosecuted.