By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) has launched fresh investigations into sexual abuse allegations against Prophetic Healing and Deliverence (PHD) ministries founder Walter Magaya.
ZGC announced on Thursday that it was re-inviting submissions from victims of sexual exploitation by the cleric.
The organisation was given a green-light to do the investigations by the High Court in 2019 but did not make progress after the alleged victim in the scandal withdrew charges against Magaya.
The ZGC said investigations have started again.
“The Zimbabwe Gender Commission wishes to advise members of the Public that the Zimbabwe Gender Commission in its Commission meeting number 38 on the 4th of August 2022 resolved to recommence investigation of the allegations of Sexual Exploitation and abuse of women levelled against Prophet Walter Magaya of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries.
“The investigation which was gazetted on the 23rd of August 2019 (General Notice No.1444/2019) was halted by the legal challenge launched by the key respondent Mr Walter Magaya (Prophet Magaya). We are happy that the courts have given legal judgments (SC592/19, HC 7347/19 and HH688/19) which have paved way for the continuation of our processes.
“As such, we are calling on all citizens who might have complaints of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) involving the conduct of Walter Magaya to present particulars of their complaints to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission.
“The invitation is also being extended to all the complainants and witnesses to such acts which consist SEA of Women within the denomination,” reads ZGC statement.
Magaya is accused of raping his female congregant in August 2015 at one of his houses in Mt Pleasant.
The State alleges he went on to force the victim to terminate her pregnancy after the alleged abuse before buying her silence with $100 000.
The alleged victim however withdrew charges against Magaya before the trial could commence.
Magaya then approached the High Court challenging the legality of his prosecution.
The then Prosecutor General Ray Goba, insisted on trial in the absence of the victim prompting Magaya to approach the High Court complaining that the state had no right to prosecute him considering that the complainant has indicated that she is no longer a witness in this case.
The complainant also sued Goba, contesting his decision to summon her for the trial saying she falsely accused Magaya.
In his application, Magaya said it was unconstitutional for the state to try him in the light of the circumstances and is seeking acquittal.
The High Court dismissed his application forcing him to approach the Supreme Court where ZGC was again given a green-light to carry out investigations against him.