A 44-YEAR-OLD self-proclaimed prophet from Bulawayo has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping his neighbour’s six-year-old daughter for ritual purposes at his shrine.

The man cannot be named to protect the identity of the minor. The prophet from Richmond was slapped with the lengthy jail term despite pleading not guilty when he appeared before magistrate Jessie Kufa.

During trial, the accused’s wife made shocking revelations that after the rape, they took the minor’s blood-stained clothes to Gwanda for some rituals.

The allegations against the perpetrator are that on 11 December 2021, the juvenile had gone with the accused and five other people to the shrine. After prayers, the accused’s wife then stripped the child and asked her to lie down on a blanket used for steaming rituals.

The accused’s wife then left the scene, leaving the juvenile with the accused. The juvenile was then asked to lie on the rock and was raped.

She tried to cry and scream but the accused threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the incident. The child was taken home by the prophet and later that day when the accused had left the juvenile’s home, she told her mother about the incident.

The shocked mother then decided to conduct an inspection on the child’s privates and observed that the child was bleeding and her panties were soaked with blood.

The mother then went to Sauerstown police station to report the matter, leading to the arrest of the accused. The juvenile was referred to Mpilo Hospital for medical examination.

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