THE rape trial of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader, Walter Magaya is expected to kick off at the High Court today.

According to the High Court roll, the matter has been set for the whole week under Justice Clement Phiri.

The last time Magaya appeared in court was in December when he was granted leave by Harare magistrate, Vongai Muchuchuti to approach the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to challenge his indictment.

The PHD leader argued that he could not be tried over a rape case, where the complainant, a Midlands State University student, had voluntarily withdrawn the case.

Muchuchuti said the State was duty-bound to call the complainant to clarify on the issue of the withdrawal, if it suspected she was coerced to drop the charge.

The ConCourt, Muchuchuti said, would also rule on whether it was a breach of section 70(1) (b) of the Constitution to try someone on charges contradicted by the State witness.

Magaya was early last year taken to court on a charge of raping a 21-year-old female congregant and MSU student, but the woman later withdrew the charge, claiming she had fabricated it.

The State, however, insisted on bringing Magaya for trial, prompting his lawyers, Everson Chatambudza and Advocate Thabani Mpofu, to challenge the legality of the move.