Luckson Mapurisa, a 38-year-old self-styled ‘Prophet’ in Budiriro, Zimbabwe, was arrested by Harare police on allegations of raping a 25-year-old woman in a car after threatening her with a live snake.
According to the reports, Mapurisa raped the complainant who had gone to his shrine to offer prayers on May 11. When she arrived at the shrine, Mapurisa asked her to accompany him to a nearby place for the prayers.
The duo drove to Chemhanza grounds in Mufakose suburb, where the accused produced a big snake threatening the complainant before raping her in the car.
As per the police, when the accused reached the Chemhanza grounds, he stopped the vehicle and sprung to the back seat of his vehicle, where the complainant was seated. He then inserted fingers into the victim’s private parts and when she resisted, the accused pulled out a big snake from his bag and threatened the woman before raping her.
The woman was haunted by the sexual assault she was subjected to for several days, following which she decided to confide it to her cousin. The victim then lodged a complaint against the self-proclaimed Prophet at Glen View Police Station on May 29 and the suspect was arrested on Monday morning.
In his interrogation, the self-styled prophet reportedly confessed to his crime and revealed that he had inherited the snake from his grandfather, which he used to threaten the woman and rape her.
Following the incident, the Harare police urged the members of the public to seek guidance from church leaders or prophets while in the company of other family members or close relatives.
Police warn the public against ‘prophets’
Last year, a sexual assault of a minor girl had come to light. A Kariba juvenile (15) was raped several times by a self-styled prophet in a lodge in another town after being left by the parents in the company of the prophet on the pretext that he wanted to cast out evil spirits. She was threatened not to reveal the abuse which she only did to her boyfriend 6 years later and the case was then reported. The case is still under investigation
“Parents or guardians are warned against leaving their children in the hands of ‘prophets’ under the guise of spiritual healing, especially the girl child. Many children have fallen victim to dubious prophets purporting to be casting out evil spirits,” a Zimbabwe police official said.