There was drama at Harare magistrate court yesterday when convicted rapist, Norton Anglican Priest, clad in a black suit and white priest dog-collar, walked out of the dock while the court was in session, shook complainant’s father’s hand and congratulated him for a job well done.
Regional magistrate Simon Rogers Kachambwa was incensed with accused’s action and threatened to charge him with contempt of court.
“Thank you! Thank you. You have achieved your goal,” Defendant said to the 14-year-old girl’s father, whom he violated twice on the pretext of pacifying her following the death of her mother.
In his judgement Kachambwa lambasted defendant for getting the church into disrepute.
“The defence in its handling of the accused’s case was no doubt an attempt to turn evil into christianity, paint a picture of sainthood, impeccability and infallibility on the accused and demonising complainant. State witnesses were demonised in an attempt to shift the blame to the complainant’s father, uncle, people at the school, people in the neighbourhood and at home,” Kachambwa said.
“The defence in its entire handling of accused was witch-hunting for possible devils or scapegoats to blame and exonerate the accused. All this failed,” he added. The magistrate said the State case was never shaken: “All the essential elements of the offence were proved beyond reasonable doubt, pointing at the accused as the perpetrator. Accordingly a verdict of guilty is retained.”
Although defendant was remanded in custody to tomorrow for sentence, he appeared in a jovial mood and joked with journalists inviting them to take his photos while prison officers were doing his paper work in the clerk of court’s office.
“I am the priest who has been convicted and you can take photos of me. I will not deny you that chance. Those used by God have prevailed and the devil, in ‘me’ has failed,” defendant said drawing laughter from court officials and journalists.
During the trial the court heard, accused was the complainant father’s best friend and even officiated at his marriage with his late wife.
The cordial relationship that existed between them prompted the complainant’s father to take his daughter and son to accused after his wife passed on in 2006. Defendant seized the opportunity, raped the girl twice damaging her bladder in the process.