THE Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) wants a commission of inquiry to probe sexual abuse allegations levelled against Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
The organisation is a group of women pressure groups in the country. WCoZ chairperson Ms Ronika Mumbire told journalists on Friday that the organisation was disturbed by a series of videos and images circulating on social media where the women who had initially reported violations withdrew their reports on the same platform.
“”This raises questions around credibility of allegations, public confusion and backlash. The allegations of sexual violence in circulation on social and mainstream media in the past weeks have caused public alarm resulting in a wave of anxiety, insecurities by women in church spaces and speculations around conduct of church leaders.
“As the Magaya allegations have caused public interest and alarm among the women of Zimbabwe and the society at large, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe therefore calls upon Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Gender Commission, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission and other relevant authorities to commission an inquiry into Mr Walter Magaya and his church in order to establish the truth behind the allegations,” she said.
Year in, year out, some church members have been pressing allegations on the Prophet Magaya but would later on retract them, and apologise.
“Given the fact that the Zimbabwean society is largely religious, it is of public interest the allegations leveled against Mr Magaya be taken with the urgency and seriousness it deserves.
In the briefing, it emerged that about five women allegedly raped by Magaya sought refuge with the Musasa Action Group.
The coalition received assurance from the Zimbabwe Republic Police that they would look into the matter. However, the Police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi refuted allegations that they are protecting Prophet Magaya from facing the wrath of the law over a string of rape and sexual abuse allegations. The police argue that lack of credible witnesses and statements leave their hands tied.
“In the issue of Charity Dlodlo and Sarah Maruta, we have checked with the named stations and there are no records to show that any such charges were brought before the police.
“And what has been disturbing with these accusations, is that when the police were ready to pounce, the victims would turn around and say they never made such allegations. This makes the work of the police difficult, especially that such allegations involve adults. It would have been a different case were minors involved.
“For the justice delivery system to work, we need consistent and reliable witnesses, who will not turn around and say otherwise,” he said in a statement released on Thursday. “We have noted that it is not only Dlodlo and Maruta who have made u-turns with their allegations, which only makes it difficult for the police to investigate as there will be no witness.”
Meanwhile a Harare woman has been reportedly dragged to court for extortion following her demand of USD50 000 from Prophet Magaya. According to Gamba