Tendai Kamhungira 17 March 2017
HARARE – Activist clergyman Patrick Phillip Mugadza has challenged the
government to build special “conjugal rights cottages” in jails to allow
prisoners to enjoy intimacy with their partners.
The unorthodox Remnant Church pastor, who earlier this year made a
controversial “prophecy” which claimed that President Robert Mugabe would
die later this year, has just spent six weeks in remand prison following
his arrest on January 19, when he was charged and then denied bail for the
Although he was finally granted bail by the High Court last Friday, he
only gained his freedom on Monday this week, after a clerk of court at the
Harare Magistrates’ Courts initially refused to accept his bail money,
because authorities allegedly wanted to authenticate the High Court order.
“I have seen condoms in prison and I have seen them with inmates. What
does that tell you? It means some gay activity is most likely going on in
there, although I am told that one can actually have intimacy with a woman
in jail,” Mugadza told the Daily News in an interview yesterday.
“I was told how this can be done and I asked whether my wife could also
visit me in prison and they said no.
“I then began to realise that there is a need for the government to
seriously think about this, as even president Mugabe says gays and
lesbians are worse than dogs, which is not a very good statement from a
leader because from my point of view as a clergyman, everybody was created
in the image of God irrespective of what they do.
“They could be doing a wrong thing but that does not make them dogs at any
given point. The best way is to speak to them so that they know what they
are doing is wrong. So, if the president is seriously against gay
relationships, what does he have to do?
“He has got to create a situation where he is going to be having what I
call `conjugal cottages’ in prison. This way, women can visit their
husbands there,” Mugadza added.
Mugadza was arrested after he “prophesied” that Mugabe would die on
October 17 this year.
He remained in custody after he was denied bail by Harare magistrate
Vongai Guwuriro on January 19, on the basis that he allegedly had the
propensity to commit similar offences if given bail.
Mugadza was charged with insulting Christian and African traditional
religions, with the State claiming that predicting someone’s death is
His trial has now been set down for March 30.
He first hit the headlines in December 2015 when he mounted a one-man
protest against Mugabe in Victoria Falls, during Zanu PF’s national
conference at the resort, where he held a placard that read: “Mr
President, the people are suffering. Proverbs 21:13“.
In April last year, he also chained himself to a pole while holding a
cross in one hand and a Bible in the other, in a daring protest action in
His death prophecy has caused palpable anger within sections of Zanu PF –
which is riven with its seemingly unstoppable tribal, factional and
The outspoken Mugadza faces six months’ imprisonment, or a fine of $200 if
he is convicted under Section 33 of the Criminal Law.
In making his controversial “prophecy”, Mugadza had also said that the
nonagenarian could escape death by praying fervently, fasting and publicly
announcing that he did not wish to die.
“I am not saying I am going to be killing him on October 17, so there is
no way anybody can say to me what you have done is wrong. I am not going
to be killing anybody, I am only saying what God told me, that he is going
to die,” he said then. – Read Mugadza’s riveting full interview in the
Daily News On Sunday this weekend.