A Gweru prophetess has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for molesting a female member of her church.
The court proved that Juliet Masakanire (29), the founder and pastor of Pray Deliverance and Testimony Ministries International, molested a 32-year-old member of her congregation.
Masakanire appeared before Gweru Regional magistrate Mrs Pathekhile Msipa facing two counts of indecent assault and one count of aggravated indecent assault. She pleaded not guilty to the three charges.
However, Mrs Msipa convicted her of the three charges following a full trial. Masakanire was sentenced to two years in prison for count one and two and nine years in prison for count three.
She will however serve nine years in prison after two years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
In passing sentence, Mrs Msipa said Masakanire as a woman of the cloth should have protected the complainant who was looking up to her as her shepherdess.
“The accused was the pastor of the complainant who placed her trust and faith in her and her prophecies. Instead of looking after her, she turned into her abuser and courts should give long custodial sentences to deter would be offenders.
“The accused is sentenced to two years on the first two counts and nine years on the third count. “Two years are suspended on condition of good behaviour,” she said.
Prosecutor, Mr Talent Tadenyika told the court sometime in January, the accused person was looking for accommodation and the complainant offered to accommodate her temporarily.
The duo used to share the same bed. The court heard that during the same month, Masakanire prophesied that the complainant was going to get married to a husband by the name of Stanley Chinyonga.
Each night since the day of the prophecy, Masakanire started to speak to the complainant in a male voice saying she was Stanley Chinyonga and wanted to marry her.
The court heard that on an unknown date during the month of February, Masakanire woke up during the night and introduced herself as Stanley Chinyonga and started kissing and caressing the complainant.
The complainant tried to resist but she was overpowered. The accused person inserted her fingers into her private parts.
She did that on four different occasions and threatened her against telling anyone saying if she did, she would not meet her future husband.
On June 28 the complainant, the court heard, informed a church mate before the matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of the accused person. -Chronicle