By Sharon Buwerimwe
A Johanne Masowe branch leader from Bulawayo allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl and tried to buy her silence with $5 before threatening to kill her.
Simon Dabengwa, a Madzibaba leader of Johanne Masowe Wechishanu from Nkulumane suburb, pleaded not guilty to rape before Bulawayo magistrate Mafios Moyo.
“We were madly in love as she is my girlfriend. I did not rape her, we had sex several times and she wanted it too,” said Dabengwa.
He was remanded out of custody to July 14 for continuation of trial.
The court heard that the prophet invited the girl to wash his church garments some time last year on a weekend.
Prosecuting, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa said in July 2018, Dabengwa forced the victim into sleeping with him and threatened to curse her and kill her if she told anyone.
The minor, who feared for her life, did not tell anyone. Later she gathered courage and told her neighbour what happened but the neighbour accused her of lying.
The matter came to light when she asked her mother for permission to go on a holiday in Harare saying she was avoiding the prophet because he raped her.
The matter was reported to the police leading to Dabengwa’s arrest. The Chronicle