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A 57-YEAR-OLD Mangwe woman has been ordered to pay $700 in damages for hurling insults at a self-styled prophet.

Olitha Phiri from Manda area and wife to a local village head, Major Moyo, appeared before Plumtree magistrate, Gideon Ruvetsa, charged with defamation after she insulted Shepherd Ncube, 21, leader of the United Christian Apostolic Church in Zion in public.

Ncube demanded compensation for the humiliation he suffered when Phiri insulted him by mentioning his manhood, which she said was rotten and useless.

He told court: "This woman came to my homestead on June 10 and started accusing me of prophesying about her and spreading lies about her and calling her a witch. I denied having done such a thing but she became furious and started calling me a bogus prophet who destroys people's homes. She then told me that my manhood was useless and rotten and said my wife had nerve for living with me under the same roof."

Ncube said he felt "humiliated and belittled" as Phiri hurled the insults in front of people.

"Now the news of what she said has been spreading throughout the village as I'm a prominent figure in my community. My family, neighbours and church members know about this incident and such an incident is defamatory. I want her to pay $700 as compensation for insulting me and for the costs I incurred in bringing this case to court," he said.

Phiri denied having insulted Ncube and accused him of alienating her children from her.

"My first born child went to South Africa and he came back ill. He went to Ncube's church for assistance and Ncube told him that I had bewitched him. He said I killed one of my children last year and I turned him into a goblin and now the goblin was sleeping with the children I stay with at home. I heard that he was saying all these things while prophesying to my son in church. Now my children don't want to stay with me. They have all moved out and are afraid to come to my house," she said.

Phiri insisted she "talked nicely" to Ncube and denied insulting him.

"If there's anyone who is supposed to be filing a complaint, it should be me because he called me a witch," she said.

Ruvetsa, however, upheld Ncube's demands and ordered Phiri to pay him the $700.

He advised Phiri to make appeal the ruling if she so decided.





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