Story By: Conor Sheils, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A self-styled Zimbabwean ‘prophet’ has appeared in court for allegedly raping a teenager while claiming he was cleansing her of an evil spirit.
Merryward Marara, 36, from the suburb of Mkoba 14 in the central Zimbabwean city of Gweru has pled not guilty to rape at a hearing in Bulawayo regional magistrate’s court.
The court heard how on September 30 the alleged victim – who has not been named – went to prayers with her father but Marara asked her to remain behind in order to cast out evil spirits which he said had possessed her.
After her father left, Marara told the woman to wait for him while he prayed for others.
Once the two were alone Marara allegedly asked the teenager to spread a white cloth, lie on it and to lift up her dress as he wanted to see something.
He then allegedly told her that the Holy spirit said that her ex-boyfriend had cast a spell so that she would not have sex with anybody else.
Marara then allegedly raped the woman after telling her to follow him to a secluded location.
Marara has been remanded in custody and the trial is set to continue on Thursday.
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