BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The leader of the Johane Masowe Wechishanu sect, Lloyd Gwasarira, has been arrested on a charge of raping a congregant after misrepresenting to her that he would pray for her husband to be released from jail.
Gwasarira (39) was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye, who remanded him out of custody on $300 bail.
As part of his bail conditions, Gwasarira was ordered not to interfere with witnesses, particularly the complainant, to reside at his given address and to report once every fortnight at Glen View Police Station.
He was remanded to September 30 for trial.
The State alleged that in February 2016, Gwasarira approached the complainant at her house in Waterfalls and claimed that he wanted to assist her spiritually to get her husband out of jail after he had been convicted of rape.
The court heard that Gwasarira told her that they should go together to consult his other colleagues who were connected to higher offices. He took her to a lodge to opposite Waterfalls shopping centre, but when they got to the room, there was no one.
When the complainant inquired about the colleagues, Gwasarira did not respond, but told her that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her.
The State alleges that he grabbed her by the neck when she attempted to flee and raped her once using protection.
After the incident, Gwasarira purported to make a phone call to former police Deputy Commissioner-General Innocent Matibiri and then Central Intelligence Organisation boss Happyton Bonyongwe, who would “fast track” the release of her husband.
It is alleged two weeks later, Gwasarira called the complainant to meet him at Park Town shops so that they could meet his wives at his place. But when they got to his house, no one was there and he advised her that he was not done helping her and wanted to have sexual intercourse with her again.
The State alleges that she tried to leave the house, but Gwasarira had locked the doors before he raped her again using protection.
The complainant’s husband was released on bail pending appeal on March 10, 2016, and she later revealed the rape matter to him in July this year.