A SELF-STYLED prophet and leader of the Sungano raJehovah Apostolic Church in Buhera is standing accused of raping a teenage female congregant at his shrine under the pretext of cleansing her of evil spirits.

Victor Chiminya, employed in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and stationed at Murambinda Growth Point, allegedly raped the 15-year-old on two separate occasions.

The name of the girl has been withheld for legal reasons. The 33-year-old self-styled prophet reportedly told the girl that her condition needed him to have sexual intercourse with her for her to be healed. Chiminya’s sexual abuses came to light after the teenager fell pregnant and told her parents that he was responsible.

The matter was reported to police, leading to Chiminya’s arrest. He was subsequently taken to Rusape Magistrates’ Court charged with two counts of rape. Chiminya denied the charges when he appeared before magistrate Mr Livingstone Chipadza, saying the allegations were manufactured out of factionalism within his church.

In denying the charges, Chiminya told the court that a breakaway faction cooked up the allegations in a bid to “fix” him. Prosecuting, Mr Tirivanhu Mutyasira, alleged that on March 12, at around 10pm, the teenager, along with her parents, were at Chiminya’s homestead for prayers. It was during prayers that Chiminya told the girl she had evil spirits that needed the two to be intimate for her to be healed.

Mr Mutyasira said Chiminya allegedly ordered the girl to lie on her back and had sexual intercourse without her consent. Chiminya is said to have threatened the teenager with death in the event that she revealed the sexual attack to anyone. On May 14, 2017, members of the church were holding a service when Chiminya reportedly started calling people one by one into his room for prayers.

Reports are that he also called the girl and said she was supposed to have sexual intercourse with him for her to be cleansed. On the day in question, Chiminya is said to have had sex with the girl twice. Sometime in August this year, the girl’s mother suspected that her daughter was pregnant and took her to village elders for examination.

On August 22, the girl was then taken for examination and it was confirmed that she was pregnant. She later revealed that Chiminya was responsible for the pregnancy.