It is no longer news these days that many men of the cloth, or pastors as they are often called, have turned from protecting their trusting flock, to preying on them in the most shocking ways.
As in the case of a self-proclaimed Zimbabwean Bishop, who raped a 17-year-old girl who was a member of his church and impregnated her, it was another incident of an outrageous abuse of trust. Thankfully the self proclaimed ‘man of God‘ didn't go unpunished—he has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
A premeditated crime by two brothers. 41-year-old Bishop Andrew Mnkandla and his brother Lovemore, 34, a pastor at the church, held the victim hostage at his house and raped her on different occassions.
They scared her to silence with the threat of demons. Can you believe that? They threatened that if she told anyone, "the demons they had exorcised from her would return with scores of others to haunt her.
They desperately tried to make the hideous matter go away.
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 magistrate Chrispen Mberewere.
The court was shocked when Mnkandla failed to recite four common Bible verses. Mr Mberewere asked Mnkandla to recite Genesis 1 verse 1, Psalms 23 verse 1, John 3 verse 16 and John 14 verse 1.
He drew laughter from the gallery when he said John 3 verse 16 reads:
The falsehood of his whole church set up was exposed. The magistrate convicted Mnkandla and sentenced him to 20 years in jail.
Here‘s the testimony of the teenage victim. She explained to the court that 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. He told me 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 occassion he held me hostage in his house the whole night. My mother came to look for me at his house while I was in his bedroom but he denied knowledge of my whereabouta. 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." she added.
Like plenty of horrific act carried out in the guise of goodwill, once unraveled,the whole structure of lies crumble quickly.