Is Magaya victim or villain?

 Is Magaya victim or villain?
Published: 15 July 2019 (165 Views)
PROPHETIC Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) leader Walter Magaya has come under immense public scrutiny after a series of allegations relating to sexual abuse were levelled against him by a number of his former female congregants. Magaya has been accused of abuse by more than four women, who have gone on to withdraw their claims against the man of cloth.

Among those who have made these claims are Charity Dlodlo, Sarah Maruta and the parents of one Chenai Maenzanise. While these women have recorded videos giving vivid narratives of what happened during the alleged abuses, they have made U-turns, claiming they lied against Magaya, who draws thousands of worshippers every week at his Harare church.

These twists and turns have re-ignited debate about Mugaya's innocence or otherwise, with church leaders yesterday piling pressure on the "prophet" to come clean on the accusations.

Life and Liberty Churches International founder Bishop Noah Pashapa said the justice system should probe Magaya and exonerate or prosecute him without fear or favour.

"The women's stories and the details that they narrate though different due to ages and circumstances involved, seem to reflect a common pattern of the likelihood (that) Magaya engaged in immoral abuse of a religious leadership office by luring financially and maritally (marriage issues) needy women into levels of financial and mental-emotional dependence on him leading to a sense of indebtedness which renders them susceptible and vulnerable to his alleged sexual advances and or abuse.

"The subsequent retractions on particular allegations by alleged victims seem to confirm the allegation that Magaya uses monetary pay offs and or mafia style threats...The justice system should investigate him and exonerate or prosecute him without fear or favour," said the cleric.

Zimbabwe Divine Destiny head Bishop Ancellimo Magaya said where there was smoke, there was fire and questioned Magaya's integrity as the number of women claiming to have been sexually abused by him keeps increasing.

"If you look at ...Magaya's track record it clearly shows that he has not presented himself as a man of integrity. He has been accused of so many things, including the sexual abuse of women and young girls and having multiple extra-marital affairs.

"The Bible says you will know false prophets by their fruits and so far Magaya's fruits have demonstrated that he is not a man of truth and integrity," Ancellimo said.

"I think there is something deep these women share with ...Magaya, which becomes a stronghold and prevents the women from completely turning against Magaya and holding him accountable for his actions. We don't know where Magaya gets his power but such ties can only be broken through strong prayer," Ancellimo said.

Ancellimo said such incidences expose how people have become gullible as they continue to follow people who abuse them. "This is not only common in the church but even when you look at our country people vote for people who then abuse power and use the country's resources for their own personal gain," Ancellimo said.

"This also exposes that there is a problem with our justice system because people with money and power rarely get convicted for their crimes.

"It's high time we blow the whistle and put away people who take advantage of and abuse our women and girls for good," Ancellimo added.

Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council patron Jimayi Muduvuri said there were always two sides to a story and Magaya's was no different. "This issue is a very complicated one. I think on one hand, Magaya could have sexually abused these women and, as a man with resources, could have paid them to retract their statements," Muduvuri said.

He added: "However, another side to the story could be that these women are trying to take advantage of Magaya's weaknesses.

"Magaya has been known to have weaknesses when it comes to women and has also been known to pay people who level allegations against him for their silence. So these women could be coming out against him in a bid to get paid, which is why they suddenly change their claims and disappear".

Muduvuri said if that was the case, then Magaya needed to take action against these women and end the saga once and for all.

"If Magaya is innocent then there is nothing stopping him from suing these women and putting to an end this saga because we cannot have people wasting our time by making and withdrawing claims just like that," Muduvuri said.

The first allegation to rock Magaya's PHD Ministries involved a woman identified as Chipo Chakanyuka, now late.

This was to be the first of a series of allegations of sexual impropriety on the part of the PHD Ministries leader, with similar allegations emerging two years later, in 2016, when Petronella Donhodzo alleged rape at the hands of the self-styled prophet.

- dailynews

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