The other side of Magaya’s rape case and its danger to society

PHD Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya (centre) is flanked by lawyers Advocate Thabani Mpofu (left) and Admire Rubaya as he makes his way out of the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday. He will be back at the same court on December 19. – (Picture by Innocent Makawa)
PHD Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya (centre) is flanked by lawyers Advocate Thabani Mpofu (left) and Admire Rubaya as he makes his way out of the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday. He will be back at the same court on December 19. – (Picture by Innocent Makawa HERALD)

This part is bad

Prophet Magaya’s rape case simply will not go away. He will now stand trial. It has been a tale of twists, turns and shockers.

Firstly, the trial could not take place on more than 3 occasions because the presiding Prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa could not put his papers in order, causing the accused to continuously wait for trial and all other facets of his life to be on a go-slow.

Secondly and most importantly, the complainant has withdrawn her case, openly telling the courts that she had made a false report against Magaya.

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Not that the said withdrawal should bring closure to the case but that the state should now turn its attention to the complainant and charge her with making a false report, which is a very serious case in terms of our law. Section 180 of the Criminal Law (Codification & Reform)Act (Chapter 9:23) which provides that any person who supplies false information to a public authority shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a level 5 fine or imprisonment for a period of up to 6 months.

I am not, in any way, trying to exonerate Magaya or play his Advocate (I believe Thabani Mpofu is an able advocate) because I have reason to believe he may actually be abusing women but I firmly believe that our courts should set a deterrent example of what it means for women to falsely allege rape in order to settle scores with a man that would have dumped them.

Many innocent men are languishing in jail because of false rape allegations and because a rape trial is simply a ‘Your word against Mine’ scenario, innocence may be difficult to prove.

I don’t know what the police is waiting for when they have a self-confessed criminal who has openly admitted to making a false report that could place a family man behind bars for years, away from the love of his wife, children and friends.

This has to be arrested!! In fact, our courts should come up with ‘An eye for an eye’ policy wherein if a rape case carries 17 years, a false rape report should also carry 17 years!

Such a case, in a country that purports to uphold the values of justice, should never have both people go scott-free; Unless the system has been corrupted and judges and/or police have been paid, as has been the allegations all along being the avenue that Magaya has used to avoid conviction for the many rape allegations against him, either the complainant or Magaya has to face prison.

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This is too serious a case not to nail anyone! If both of them walk away, then Zimbabwe cannot talk about a justice system at all, given the numerous rape allegations that have come against the same Prophet and no one as yet has been arrested for making a false report.

One of either Magaya or the complainant must be jailed. It cannot be none. Like football, it is either a penalty and a yellow card for the defender, or a freekick and a yellow card for the striker. It is one or the other, never none, not when a precedent is at stake.

Rape is a serious issue with grave consequences, and which should never be used as a tool to spite. At the end of this particular saga, someone has to go to jail. Either the Prophet, if found guilty, or the girl if it is proven that she lied. It has to be one, it cannot be none.