A 60-YEAR-OLD self-proclaimed prophet for an apostolic church in Kwekwe allegedly raped and impregnated two congregants who have since given birth.
Lawrence Gwaza appeared before Gweru Regional Magistrate Morgan Nemadire facing three counts of rape. He was remanded out of custody to June 10 for continuation of trial.
Gwaza pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed that he had consensual se_x with his alleged victims.
One of the victims alleges that she was failing to conceive for 10 years in her marriage, only to be impregnated by the pastor.
“Your Worship l didn’t force them to have se_xual intercourse with me, but l proposed to each of them and they bothl agreed to have se_xual intercourse with me. On the issues of pregnancy l don’t think I’m the father,” said Gwaza in his defence.
One of the women was impregnated twice while the other was impregnated once.
One of them, a 37-year-old teacher, took to the witness stand.
She said out of respect for her pastor and “the scriptures,” she gave herself to Gwaza on several occasions between August 2002 and July 2003.
The complainant said Gwaza visited her village under Chief Negove where she resided before she converted to his church.
“At first Gwaza invited me to an evening prayer together with three other congregants and told me that l was being used by the devil so he wanted to remove the spirit that was in me. He told me that he was going to use his manhood to drain the evil spirit which was in me and he took advantage that l had faith in him as my pastor and he forced me to have se_xual intercourse with him,” she said.
The second witness said she was raped while at Gwaza’s residence in Zvishavane in 2008.
The witness, who was failing to conceive, allegedly converted to the accused’s church seeking spiritual healing.
“I was in a marriage for more than 10 years but failing to conceive and the pastor told me that he was going to help me to have a baby. He invited me to his house to pray for a pregnancy, and I had se_xual intercourse with him several times until I got pregnant,” she said.
Prosecuting, Andrew Marimo, said sometime in 2001, Gwaza went to Mberengwa for his pastoral work and the first complainant converted to his church.
The court heard that between August 2002 and July 2003, as the complainant fellowshipped with the accused, Gwaza had se_x with her without her consent on many occasions.
It is the state’s case that, as a result of the alleged rape, the complainant gave birth to a baby girl.
“On the second count, during the year 2008, the accused called the complainant into his bedroom and had se_xual intercourse with her without her consent and she gave birth to a baby girl again,” said Marimo.
The prosecutor said in November 2002, Gwaza hoodwinked another congregant and raped her. She gave birth to a baby boy.
The matter came to light when the complainant joined another church and testified during a church service what happened to her.