A 25-YEAR-OLD self-styled Chiredzi prophet who raped a heavily pregnant woman on the pretext of removing objects in her privates will spend the next 15 years in jail.

Thomas Muzira raped the woman after he lied that she had objects in her vagina that could kill the baby or her during delivery.

The self-styled prophet escaped to South Africa after committing the crime in 2010 and was arrested in December last year when he returned home.

He pleaded not guilty to rape when he appeared before Masvingo Magistrate Judith Zuyu, arguing he was in love with the woman, but was convicted due to overwhelming evidence.

Muzira was initially sentenced to 18 years in jail, but three years were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

Prosecuting, Mukai Mutumhe said on 15 December 2010, the woman in the company of her husband and other relatives visited Muzira’s shrine for consultations and was told she would die during delivery if not treated by the prophet.

The court heard that, two days later, the woman returned to Muzira’s shrine and found him alone. She was taken in a room and ordered to lie facing upwards.

Muzira then inserted his fingers into his victim’s privates as part of the “healing” session and removed some objects after which he told the woman that there were still some bigger
objects inside.

He then ordered her to stand up and lean forward while holding a stool with both hands so that he could detect and remove bigger objects inserted by her enemies.

The court heard that when the woman felt that Muzira had inserted his penis, she tried to get off his grip but he held her tightly until he finished raping her.

After the incident, the woman went home and informed her husband after which a formal report was made to Triangle police.

Muzira fled to neighbouring South Africa where he stayed for nearly five years but was arrested on his return in December last year, following a tip off