A 34-year-old self-proclaimed spiritual healer, Edmund Taurai, was yesterday slapped with an 18-year prison term for raping a married woman under the guise of exorcism.
Regional magistrate Simon Rogers Kachambwa blasted the self-proclaimed prophet for hiding behind the church in an attempt to lure the complainant whom he later raped.
“There is no doubt that the accused (Taurai) wore a sheep skin to convince the complainant. He hid behind his position as a spiritual healer/prophet and had sexual intercourse with the complainant,” Kachambwa said.
“People like accused should not hide behind their role as spiritual healers/prophets or a church leader to fraudulently obtain benefits from unsuspecting people and as such there is need to deter accused and those of like mind.”
Although Taurai pleaded with the court to consider community service, the magistrate sentenced him to effective 13 years after suspending five years on the usual conditions.
According to the evidence produced in court, Taurai met the complainant and her husband in Glen View sometime in January last year when he was at a place where he used to practice his healing sessions.
He then devised a plan to separate the couple during the healing sessions by inviting them separately to his house.
On the day in question, Taurai invited the complainant to his house alleging he wanted to exorcise her of “bad things” she had in her stomach.
When the woman was in Taurai’s room, he spread a white cloth on the bed before ordering her to lie on the same bed. Taurai then wrapped himself with another white cloth and gave the complainant a stone and instructed her to place it underneath the white cloth on which she lay.
He then got on top of the complainant and raped her while telling her he was conducting a healing session.
After the act, Taurai gave the woman a bucket of water and asked her to bathe before letting her go.
The woman narrated her ordeal to her husband and the matter was reported to the police, leading to Taurai’s arrest.