A sibling to a pastor at Harvest House Church in Bulawayo, who was facing a charge of raping a fellow member of the church, was on Monday acquitted after the court established that there was an adulterous affair between the two.

Hudson Muzonde, a 33-year-old bachelor, who resides in Bradfield shut his eyes briefly and whispered, ‘thank you Lord', when Magistrate Chrispen Mberewere passed a verdict of not guilty.

The complainant would pass by Muzonde's apartment where she alleged she was raped, before proceeding to pick up her child at a nearby pre-school.

Mberewere ruled that the intercourse that Hudson and the complainant indulged in was clearly consensual. This was after it was agreed that the two first had doggie style sex before they decided to change and have another sex style popularly known as 'missionary'.

He said it was suspicious that she did not scream during the act, adding that the fact that she requested Muzonde to wear a condom showed that she consented to the sexual act on the said July 10 2014.

"The complainant admitted to failing to put a fight or even scream, claiming that it was useless as it was in a quiet neighbourhood. It is not even true that Bradfield houses are far apart. Screaming is spontaneous, one does not need time to sit down and think about it. Even a person in the middle of nowhere would scream. The fact that she requested him to wear a condom shows that she was willing to have sex," said the magistrate.

Mberewere said it was also strange that the complainant accepted a burger from a man who had raped her, and even walked with him to the bus stop to catch transport into town after the act.

He said it was clear that adultery took place, and the complainant panicked because of her Christian background.

"It is not possible to find beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused raped the complainant. Accordingly, he is found not guilty and acquitted," he said.

It was the state's case that on July 10 2014, Muzonde raped the complainant who he had invited to his house to watch a movie.

During the trial, the woman told the court that she trusted Muzonde, who she had known for more than 10 years, and was the photographer on her wedding day.

In his defence, Muzonde said he had an affair with the 29-year-old married woman and that he hoped one day she would have the guts to tell her husband about it.

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