BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
THE High Court has upheld the conviction and sentence of a Stoneridge faith healer who raped a client at his shrine.
A Harare magistrate convicted Ephraim Muziwa of rape and sentenced him to 15 years in prison, four of which were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
Muziwa challenged the conviction and sentence at the High Court.
According to court papers, Muziwa raped the complainant between November and December 2017.
However, High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda dismissed his appeal citing overwhelming evidence.
“The appellant attended to patients at his shrine while the complainant waited until all the other patients left, leaving only the complainant. The appellant had no reason to keep her waiting if he did not have business with her. It is also not disputed that the complainant reported the rape to her sister as soon as she got home. She also reported to the police and her brother-in-law on the following day. The complainant’s report was, therefore, not delayed,” Kwemba ruled.
“We find that from the admitted facts, the complainant had no reason to fabricate a case of rape against the appellant. If anything, she ought to have been grateful. The complainant complained at the earliest possible opportunity to a person she was reasonably expected to report to.
“The complaint was thus correctly relied upon by the trial court. The argument that the appellant had no opportunity to commit the crime does not hold water because it is common cause that the complainant waited until she was the only patient remaining to be attended to all other patients had left.”
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