Police in Mutare recently arrested a self-proclaimed prophet of the Johane Masowe Apostolic sect who allegedly raped a woman under the pretext of exorcising demons. 

Alfred Makurumidze, 40, of 2514 Chikanga 2 had claimed that his 23-year-old victim had so many demons and other spiritual complications that she needed an all-night cleansing.

Police confirmed the rape and have urged members of the public to be wary of bogus prophets. “A rising number of fake prophets raping unsuspecting women are becoming a cause of concern. Women should be very careful when dealing with these people. They should avoid getting into secluded places because they end up being vulnerable. As [the] police, we are leaving no stone unturned in thwarting those shameful acts. This is unacceptable,” said Manicaland provincial police spokesman, Inspector Enock Chishiri.

On December 17 last year, the victim was walking along Magamba road from Chikanga Phase 1 looking for transport to city centre at around 6 pm. 

She met Makurumidze who was clad in Johane Masowe Apostolic church regalia. He told the woman that the spirit had told him that she was having spiritual problems and demons which needed to be “exorcised”. He said that he needed the whole night to cleanse her and make her spiritually pure. He asked the woman to accompany him to his house. She complied and went with him.

At around 7:30 pm, he gagged her mouth and pinned her to the ground. He raped her once. He set her free about 30 minutes later. She reported the matter to the police which subsequently led to his arrest.