Three Mazowe Nyau cult members forced four teenagers to have unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV-positive woman during their initiation process.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The incident that has exposed the dangers of the Nyau dancing initiation process occurred sometime in July last year at Southern Section, Mazowe Citrus Estate in Mashonaland Central Province.
The trio of Nyarai Tambatiya (30), Bishop Chinanga (39) and Thompson Lawrence Chiwara (26) appeared before Bindura regional magistrate, William Bhila last September, charged with deliberate transmission of HIV and were all convicted of the offence.
Chiwara has since approached the High Court for bail pending appeal against his conviction and a 10-year effective jail term while his co-accused are doing time behind bars.
The court heard on July 14 last year that the four teenagers, aged between 16 and 18 years old, went to Chinanga’s place of residence for the initiation into the Nyau cult and were forced to stay at this house until the completion of the process.
On July 19 the court heard, Tambatiya, Chinanga and Chiwara connived to coerce the teenagers into having unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV-positive Tambatiya, as part of their routine initiation procedure for the new members of the cult.
Later that day, the court heard, Tambatiya came into the room in which the teenagers were, stripped naked and started teaching the teenagers the vernacular names of parts of her genitalia.
After the theory lesson, Chinanga took the teenagers to Mazowe River for a bath after which they were later taken to a shrine where upon arrival Tambatiya again stripped naked, lay on her back exposing her private parts and ordered the teenagers to caress her genitalia while shouting out vernacular names of the parts of her womanhood.
The court heard at some point the teenagers were thoroughly beaten for failing to remember the specific names and later were each forced to have unprotected sexual intercourse with Tambatiya.
As the sexual act was being conducted publicly, two of the teenagers failed to sustain an erection and were battered severely for their failures, while being forced to copulate 100 to 200 times per individual.
In his evidence in court, one of the teenagers said he was thoroughly spanked after refusing to participate in the sexual act and upon being asked why he said: “Because I regarded the 1st accused [Tambatiya] to be elderly. Secondly she had a disgusting ‘womanhood’ almost rotten. Her private part was dirty.”
At that juncture, the court heard, Chiwara arrived at the shrine and also assaulted the teenagers with sticks and again forced them to have unprotected sexual intercourse with Tambatiya, which they did.
Days later and after the ceremony, the teenagers were released and one of them immediately reported the matter to his parents, leading to the trio’s arrest.
“Police investigated the matter and it was established that accused 1 [Tambatiya] was HIV-positive and was diagnosed as such on March 19 2013 at Henderson Research Clinic, Mazowe and has been on Antiretroviral treatment from the day she was diagnosed,” read part of the State outline.
“Accused 1 who is a long-time member of the Nyau cult at Mazowe Citrus Estate, allowed the complainants to have unprotected sexual intercourse with her well knowing she is a long-time HIV patient. She neither used condoms to protect the complainants from being subjected to HIV, neither did she inform accused 2 and 3 [Chinanga and Chiwara] about her HIV status.”
As the matter was being heard, the teenagers were sent for an HIV-testing and they came out negative.