Church leader & brother rape 17-year-old con­gre­gant 20 YEARS JAIL FOR BISHOP

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tanaka Mrewa

A SELF-pro­claimed bishop from Bu­l­awayo who, with his brother who is still at large, raped and im­preg­nated a 17-year-old con­gre­gant at their church has been sen­tenced to 20 years in jail.

An­drew Mnkandla (41) stunned a court when he failed to re­cite four com­mon Bi­ble verses. He held the vic­tim hostage at his house while he raped her.

The court heard he went to the teen’s mother with his wife and tried to bribe her so that she con­vinces her daugh­ter to change her state­ment in court.

Mnkandla had pleaded not guilty to mul­ti­ple counts of rape be­fore re­gional mag­is­trate Mr Chrispen Mberewere.

Mr Mberewere asked Mnkandla to re­cite Gen­e­sis 1 verse 1, Psalms 23 verse 1, John 3 verse 16 and John 14 verse 1.

Mnkandla drew chuck­les from the gallery when he said John 3 verse 16 reads: “Let your hearts not be trou­bled,” yet it reads “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that who­ever be­lieves in him shall not per­ish but have eter­nal life.” He was com­pletely clue­less about Psalms 23 verse 1. “Oh well bishop, it looks like the Bi­ble is giving you a hard time. You can’t even re­cite very com­mon verses fa­mil­iar to many peo­ple. Let’s just get back to the busi­ness that brings you here, that of bed­room is­sues, be­cause you seem to be bet­ter in that de­part­ment,” said Mr Mberewere.

The mag­is­trate con­victed Mnkandla and sen­tenced him to 20 years in jail.

He sus­pended four years on con­di­tion of good be­hav­iour, leav­ing him with an ef­fec­tive 16 years to serve.

The State had al­leged that Mnkandla and his brother Love­more (34) a pas­tor at the same church, raped the teen on dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions.

The duo threat­ened that if she told any­one, the “demons they had ex­or­cised from her would re­turn with scores of oth­ers to haunt her.”

In her tes­ti­mony, the teen said Love­more raped her at Khami Moun­tains and Mnkandla raped her at his house.

“We went to the moun­tains for seven days with my fa­ther and Love­more. My fa­ther was called back to work on the fourth day, leav­ing me with Love­more. On our way home he dragged me into a nearby bush and raped me twice. He said if I told any­one, all the demons would re­turn,” she said.

“Mnkandla came to our house and asked me to go to his house where he raped me twice. The first time he wore a con­dom. On an­other oc­ca­sion he held me hostage in his house the whole night,” said the teen.

“My mother came to look for me at his house while I was in his bed­room but he de­nied knowl­edge of my where­abouts. The fol­low­ing day my fa­ther came. He told me to es­cape through the back door and wait for him at a foot­ball pitch close by. He came to get me later and in­structed me to tell my fa­ther that I had spent the night at a school gate.”

In cross ex­am­i­na­tion, pros­e­cu­tor Mr Sim­barashe Manyiwa, asked Mnkandla why he had gone against the court’s or­der bar­ring him from in­ter­fer­ing with wit­nesses, when he approached the teen’s mother.

In his de­fence, Mnkandla ac­cused the vic­tim’s fa­ther of fab­ri­cat­ing the rape al­le­ga­tions.

“He fab­ri­cated th­ese is­sues be­cause he got an­gry that I asked him to come to my house to pray when his daugh­ter went miss­ing. I know so be­cause he said it to my face,” said Mnkandla. — @tan­nytkay

An­drew Mnkandla

Min­is­ter Saviour Ka­sukuwere

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