New Zimbabwe.com

Victim in no show as Magaya rape trial opens

THE trial in which Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) founder Walter Magaya is accused of raping his congregant started Tuesday in the absence of the complainant, a former Midlands State University student.

Magaya is also being accused of unlawful termination of pregnancy as well as obstructing the course of justice.

He appeared before High court Judge, Justice Amy Tsanga.

Appearing for the state in this case is the Prosecutor General himself, Ray Hemington Goba, who is being assisted by prosecutor Justin Uladi and Chipo Muronda.

Magaya is being represented by his lawyers Everson Chatambudza, Admire Rubaya and Oliver Marwa who are instructing Advocate Thabani Mpofu.

The accused is yet to file his defence outline but Mpofu told court that Goba had personal battles with his client.

“The state should not promise to lead evidence when it knows that there is no such thing. The PG here is just trying to cloud court’s judgement because the complainant said she will not lead any evidence. She vowed never to come to court and clearly outlined that she has no any case against the accused. She said she is being forced by the PG to lie and nail the accused,” said Mpofu.

Mpofu had applied that the trial be delayed as he intended to make some applications with regards to the process of his client’s indictment being defective but the court ruled that the trial should commence while he prepares his application.

Tsanga said there was enough time to do that before the trial date considering that Magaya was indicted on January 19 this year.

The complainant did not show up but she was represented by her lawyer Advocate Sylvester Hashiti who also intends to make an application in support of Magaya’s defence.

“Any criminal process is driven by the complainant but in this case the basis has been taken away. If the case continues like this it will be a lie and the complainant insists that she has said it before and in many courts that she has no case against the accused and has made an application which has not been heard. The state is pursuing a personal agenda and it is a personal private battle which has nothing to do with the law. The court must hear that,” said Hashiti.

Guided by the scenario, Goba unsuccessfully applied for a warrant of arrest for the complainant.

He also told court that the complainant made it clear that she will not come to court adding that she had no rights to do so.

“She said she is not coming yet she is the complainant. This is the worst contempt ever because we can’t cross examine the applications which parties are to make of she does not come to court.

“It does not matter what evidence she is going to give, by virtue of her non presence she is in contempt,” he said.

However the judge reserved the issue for another day before she postponed the trial.

Mpofu will make his application and tender the defence outline by April 5. The state will respond on the 11th of this month and the defence will argue on state’s response on the 17th. The process will be finalised on April 23 and the trial continues on April 25.

Ten witnesses are expected to testify against Magaya and they include police officers, the complainant and some congregants.

The state alleges that Magaya raped the complainant sometime in August 2015.

It is alleged that four weeks after the abuse, the complainant discovered that she was pregnant and told Magaya.

Court heard Magaya gave her a pregnancy termination pill and she lost her child.

It is also alleged that after abusing the victim, the cleric gave her $200 for a taxi and further deposited $100 000 into her CBZ Bank account number 09124212590012.

Prosecutors allege that the money was for her to keep her mouth shut thereby defeating the course of justice.