A SELF-CONFESSED prophet from Johanne Masowe weChishanu raped a woman using a condom which burst during the act before taking the condom which he mixed with “holy water” and then instructed the woman to bath and dispose of it.
This emerged when Marryward Marara (36) of Maglass suburb in Zvishavane appeared before Gweru regional magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing rape charges last week. He pleaded not guilty but was found guilty following a full trial.
He was sentenced to an effective 15 years in jail of which three were suspended on condition of good behaviour. In his defence, Marara told the court that he was in a relationship with the woman and they had consensual sex.
“The complainant was my girlfriend and she consented to sex, l did not rape her. She filed rape charges after we broke up because she could not stomach the break-up,” said Marara.
The woman whose name cannot be revealed for ethical reasons told the court that she met Marara a day before the rape, after being referred to him by her aunt.
“I had never met the accused before and I was not in a relationship with him as he is alleging. I met him a day before he raped me after my aunt had referred me to get some prayers from him. The day we met he told me that I was poisoned and he prayed for me before he told me that he had removed the said poison from my stomach. He told me to return to his shrine for prayers the following day,” she said.
Mrs Msipha castigated Marara for his behaviour saying he deserved a custodial sentence that will deter would-be rapists.
“This court finds you guilty as charged and a custodial sentence is suitable so that we send a clear message to would-be rapists. You are hereby sentenced to 15 years in prison, three years are suspended on condition of good behaviour,” said Mrs Msipha.
It is the State’s case that on 31 January around 9am, Marara was allegedly praying for people when the complainant arrived at his shrine. The court heard that Marara told the woman that she needed prayers conducted in a bush near Shabanie Mine dump.
In the bush, the court heard, Marara instructed the woman to kneel down before he pushed her to the ground and raped her once. Marara allegedly used a condom which burst during the rape.
He allegedly took the condom and placed it in the bottle containing “holy water” before ordering the complainant to go bath with the water and dispose of the bottle in a sewage pool. The complainant reported the matter leading to the arrest of Marara.
Mr Talent Tadenyika appeared for the State.