Zimbabwe: 'Prophet' Faces Rape Charges

Harare, Zimbabwe - A SELF-STYLED prophet of Johanne Masowe Apostolic sect in Murombedzi, Zvimba, has been brought to court for allegedly raping a pupil in a classroom at her school during a purported cleansing ceremony.

Madzibaba Mika Chikudo allegedly lured the girl by telling her that he wanted "to cleanse her of evil spirits".

Chikudo was not asked to plead when he appeared before Chinhoyi magistrate Mr Funwell Katewe.

Prosecutor Mr Voice Chivhiya said that on January 16, 2007, the accused went to see the girl at the school and instructed her to follow him to church for what he called a cleansing ceremony.

Instead of taking her to church, Chikudo took advantage of the girl and pushed her into an empty classroom where he raped her, the court heard.

The magistrate remanded him to August 8, pending investigations.