A GIRL, 13, was allegedly raped by a bishop during an all-night prayer meeting in Binga where congregants reportedly drank Skippers spirits, a State witness said yesterday.
Dubani Mkuli, 25, from Chief Pashu's area told Hwange regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga that congregants to a Faith Mission Zion Church shared six 750ml Skippers bottles at night when the juvenile was molested.
"We were drinking Skippers at the all-night prayer. There were six 750ml bottles for the many church members present, a norm at our church," said Mkuli, sending the entire gallery including court officials into laughter.
He was testifying against Ndangariro Ndlovu, 34, from Kambwe village, Binga, who pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Mkuli said excited congregants were dancing when the girl suddenly entered the church carrying a pair of trousers and crying with her skirt torn.
"It was established that the trousers belonged to Ndlovu because he came back into the church putting on a garment only. During interrogation by church members on the night, she said 'here is his pair of trousers, he held me by force,'" said Mkuli.
He added: "Ndlovu entered the church when the girl was being interrogated and became violent towards everyone while putting on a garment only causing all of us to get out of the church."
Prosecuting, Bhekithemba Tshabalala said the girl attended an all-night prayer at the church at Simbala Primary School with her grandmother on December 6 last year at about 6PM.
He said in the early hours of the following day she went outside to drink water behind a room where congregants were praying when Ndlovu, a bishop at the church, got hold of her and dragged her into darkness.
"She fell down and Ndlovu removed his clothes and her garments and raped her once. The girl screamed and alerted Viona Sibelo who came to the scene," said Tshabalala.
He said on December 8, Ndlovu, who was with his father resisted police arrest on the rape charge at his home before assaulting and head-butting Constable Tawanda Gapare, 24.
Tshabalala said Gapare was assaulted on the left cheek with an open hand before being head-butted on the mouth causing it to swell.
Thulani Nkala of Dube and Partners represented Ndlovu who was remanded out of custody to July 24 for continuation of trial.