‘Gumbura’ Prophet Jailed for 85Years.

A SELF-STYLED PROPHET dubbed a “religious rapist” by a magistrate was yesterday jailed for 85 years for sex attacks on five women, including a Form 1 pupil. Ephias Ndlovu, 42, of Trenance suburb in Bulawayo, will serve an effective 45 years in prison after a magistrate suspended 40 years.

He kidnapped one of his victims and detained her overnight at his shrine on a mountain top in Emakhandeni suburb.
‘Gumbura’ Prophet Jailed for 85Years.
Ndlovu (likened to the jailed Pastor Robert Gumbura), lured six women to the bush on different occasions with claims that he had prophetic visions about their lives, prosecutors said.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of rape and one count of kidnapping before regional magistrate Chrispen Mberewere.

The magistrate rebuked Ndlovu for using religion to abuse women, saying criminals like him deserved lengthy jail sentences.

“The scourge of sexual offences by ‘men of the cloth’ continues unabated. Five women aged between 14 and 20 were raped in similar circumstances as they sought help from a man they believed to be a prophet,” said magistrate Mberewere.

He said the court had a duty to curb “religious rape” by imposing stiff sentences to deter like-minded men planning to abuse God’s name for criminal purposes.

“For the first five rape counts, you’re sentenced to 15 years each of which a total of 30 years is suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour. For the kidnapping count, you’re sentenced to 10 years of which five years are suspended. Effectively, you will serve 45 years in prison.”

Tinashe Dzipe, for the state, told the court that Ndlovu kept his victims — including two high school girls — in the bush overnight after his promises to cleanse” them turned into a living nightmare.

Ndlovu’s first victim was a Form 1 pupil whom he approached while she was selling potatoes at Entumbane Complex just after 2PM on April 1 last year.

Ndlovu, Dzipe said, produced a $100 note but the girl indicated that she did not have change. He asked her to follow him to his house so that he could get change. On arrival at his home in Lobengula, Ndlovu instructed the pupil to wait for him outside.

He emerged after a few minutes and told her he could not find a smaller denomination, and suggested that they continue walking around looking for change. At around 6PM, they got to a bushy area where the girl insisted on going home.

Ndlovu told the girl that the Holy Spirit wanted her to remove her panties, warning her she could die for failing to comply.

Ndlovu, the prosecutors said, lifted his victim and placed her on a rock and raped her once. He detained her the entire night and raped her four times.

His second victim was a domestic worker aged 20 who met Ndlovu on her way to Cowdray Park on April 6 of the same year at around 1PM.

As they walked, Ndlovu told the woman that the Holy Spirit had showed him that she would suffer abdominal pains and that she had something in her chest. He told her that he could provide the spiritual solution.

He warned the woman that she was going to choke to her death if she refused to go with him to his home for a “healing session”. The woman followed Ndlovu.

The court heard that he led her to a wooded pathway and sat her down, claiming his wife would come and give him keys to the house.

Seven hours after they had first met, Ndlovu grabbed the victim by her jacket, struck her with a stone on the forehead and pushed her to the ground.

He raped her twice while holding the same stone and kept her for the whole night.

He met his third victim at a bus stop in Pumula South, a 17-year-old girl to whom he introduced himself as a prophet. He told her he would give her a red rose which, when placed in vinegar, would cleanse her of bad luck.

He told the teenager the flower could only be found in the bush, and the girl followed him. Once they reached a secluded spot, he demanded sex but the girl refused.

Ndlovu detained her for the night saying there were thugs in the bush and released her the following morning unharmed.

The fourth victim met Ndlovu and he asked her for directions to Emganwini after which he immediately told her that he was a prophet. He “prophesied” that the woman ate human flesh mixed with hair.

From that moment, the woman became confused and found herself sleeping in a bush, covered with a brown blanket the next day. She noticed that the panties and tights that she had been putting on were beside Ndlovu’s bag, but he was nowhere to be seen.

A Form 3 pupil from Lobengula West was Ndlovu’s next target. She found him sitting under a tree on her way from Nkulumane Complex.

He identified himself as a prophet and told the girl that she was bewitched by an old woman from the suburb. Ndlovu insisted that he could heal her with a herb called Dhuba mixed with vinegar. The girl was deceived into following Ndlovu into the bush where she was raped and detained for the whole night.

Ndlovu sold his sixth victim the same story about eating human flesh and told her she needed a herb only found in the bush to cleanse her. Once there, he raped her and released her the following morning.

He was arrested on May 19 last year and all six women picked him out at an identification parade.

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