PROPHETIC Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) leader Walter Magaya spent Friday night in police custody after he was charged for allegedly raping a 25-year-old woman in July last year.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Magaya was arrested close to midnight after leading a church service in Harare and was detained at Rhodesville Police Station. Yesterday he appeared before magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe.
He was not asked to plead to the rape charges and was granted bail coupled with stringent reporting conditions. The State and the defence had agreed on a $1 000 bail, but the magistrate raised it to $2 000.
Chikwekwe also added another condition that Magaya should report to CID Law and Order three times a week.
“I made the discretion to increase that bail and also add other conditions which you had not included, I hope you take note,” Chikwekwe said.
The PHD leader arrived when the courts had already closed for the day and was not handcuffed. Chikwekwe had to be summoned back to hear the case.
He read the riot act to both the police and the State led by Gwinyayi Shumba over the delays in bringing Magaya to court.
“Let me express my displeasure over the delays of coming to court. the State should know that courts have gazetted times for Saturday and you should rein in the police,” Chikwekwe said.
“This attitude by the police of thinking that they can come to court as and when it pleases them should stop because next time I will call whoever delays to take the stand.”
Magaya was also asked to surrender his passport to the clerk of court and to reside at his given address.
Chikwekwe, who remanded Magaya to September 15 also ordered the “prophet” not to interfere with State witnesses.
Shumba alleged that sometime in July last year, Magaya invited the woman to 22 Colt Road in Mt Pleasant where he showed her his house and left her in a room before returning to the room naked.
“The accused then forced the complaint to have sexual intercourse without her consent and without using protection,” part of the state outline reads.
It is alleged that Magaya then paid his victim $200 and she left before making a report to her boyfriend who is also a State witness.
According to State papers, the court will be favoured with audio recordings which will allegedly link Magaya to the commission of the crime.
An unfazed Magaya told The Standard that he was aware of the arrest ahead of time, saying it was only a passing phase which he will take in his stride.
“These things happen but they will come to pass. They are trials,” he said as he was escorted to court.
Meanwhile, prison officers mobbed Magaya jostling to greet him as he walked into court, while church members mostly women sang and danced outside the courts in support of their leader.
During a Friday prayer meeting, Magaya had reportedly told congregants that there were girls in his church who had been offered money by his enemies so that they lay false rape charges against him.
Two girls from the church allegedly confessed to such a plot, saying they had been offered close to $100 000 to bring him down.
Magaya’s wife and mother also attended the court session.