Johanne Marange Simon branch leader, Clement Momberume, who was facing a charge of raping his nephew’s wife at a local hotel, was on Friday discharged after a magistrate concluded the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against him.
Momberume allegedly raped his nephew’s wife at Grey’s Inn hotel in Bulawayo on the pretext that he was prophesying on her.
Passing his ruling on the application made by Momberume’s defence, senior regional magistrate Mark Dzira, however, rebuked the elderly sect leader for his unbecoming behaviour. He said Momberume was supposed to lead by example.
“You shouldn’t take other people’s wives, especially of those who trust you. You’ve seen better days and the community needs help from aged people like you,” said magistrate Dzira.
He said Momberume’s behaviour might lead his many followers to lose trust in him as a leader.
“Your church has a provision for one to get married to many wives. You must therefore marry as many wives as you want and note that I don’t mean minors.
“The courts deserve to hear out serious rape matters unlike this one which was a waste of time. It may be true that the woman attempted to withdraw charges because she had consensual sex with Momberume,” said magistrate Dzira to the applause of the of Momberume’s followers who had filled the gallery.
The woman had alleged Momberume had insisted on going to a hotel so he could prophesy on her.
“I was introduced to him by my husband and he asked for my number. I was surprised when I received a phone call from him in my husband’s absence. He said he wanted to meet me after work. I knocked off and he picked me from TM Hyper Supermarket and we proceeded to a hotel,” said the woman.
“He said I needed cleansing as he alleged that my husband kept a two-headed snake in Mutare. Momberume then gave me a drink. I took the drink and started feeling dizzy and that’s when Momberume asked me to follow him. I wasn’t fully conscious of what was happening. The next thing I saw myself in a hotel room and Momberume started undressing.”
The woman said she is asthmatic and that Momberume undressed her and raped her on the bed once.
“I gained consciousness later and found myself naked with water all over my body. I dressed up and he took me to a taxi rank and told me to go home. I went home. I intended to tell my husband about the incident but he brushed me off saying his first wife was sick and he wanted to first deal with that.
“Momberume called me on the next day saying he had confessed to my husband and that we were supposed to meet with him at the same hotel to explain. I met up with him at the hotel and he said my husband was on his way. As we waited he offered me a drink and I took it,” she said.
The woman said Momberume placed her on the bed and raped her once again and told her to go home.
“After fruitless efforts to get my husband to sit down and hear my story, I finally told him over the phone as he had travelled to see the sick wife. He told me to wait for him to come back to Bulawayo. We made a police report when he returned.” chronicle