A self-proclaimed Zimbabwean Bishop, who with his brother raped and impregnated a 17-year-old congregant at their church has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
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 threatened that if she told anyone, “the demons they had exorcised from her would return with scores of others to haunt her.
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:
“Let your hearts not be troubled,” but it actually reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
‘Oh well bishop, it looks like the Bible is giving you a hard time,” said Mr Mberewere. “You can’t even recite very common verses familiar to many people. Let’s just get back to the business that brings you here, that of bedroom issues, because you seem to be better in that department.”
The magistrate convicted Mnkandla and sentenced him to 20 years in jail. In her testimony, the teen had said 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.