'Prophet' Jailed 22 Years for Rape

A self-styled prophet was recently slapped with a 22-year jail term for indecently assaulting two women who sought spiritual deliverance at his shrine before raping them. 

Iden Muzvondiwa Chabvutagondo (27) would insert a cooking stick in the privates of his clients and later rape them as part of the rituals to cast out evil spirits tormenting them.

Chabvutagondo of Mapfumo Village in Zvimba, who denied the charges, was found to be unreliable during the trial as he was contradicting himself.

As a result, Chinhoyi regional magistrate Mr Felix Mawadze found Chabvutagondo guilty of two counts of indecent assault and a further two counts of rape involving two women.
'Prophet' Jailed 22 Years for Rape
The prosecutor, Miss Chipo Hungwe, proved beyond reasonable doubt that Chabvutagondo systematically lured the women with conditions that eventually led to their abuse.

Mr Mawadze said Chabvutagondo preyed on the women's vulnerabilities and took advantage of his position. He said religious leaders should not misuse the gifts they have to abuse their followers.

"From the evidence led, it is clear that the women had been converted as one of them went to the shrine on more than one occasion," he said.

The magistrate said the spirit misled Chabvutagondo when he chose to indecently assault and rape the two women.

Such people, he said, should be taken away from society for a long time.

For purposes of sentencing, the two counts of indecent assault were treated as one, attracting a 10-year jail term which was reduced to seven years after three years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence.

The other two counts of rape were also combined and he was sentenced to 18 years before three years were set aside.

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