The world around Prophet Walter Magaya is crumbling as more allegations of sexual abuse and harassment continue to surface.
A week after the Maenzanise family went on social media alleging that their daughter had been raped, more women are coming out to make allegations of improper sexual behaviour against the man-of-cloth.
The latest allegations come from Charity Dlodlo and Sarah Maruta, both former church members of Prophet Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD).
When Enisia Mushusha went on Facebook on June 26 with Mr and Mrs Maenzanise, she might not have anticipated the can of worms the revelations would open.
At the centre of the allegations by the Maenzanises were the insinuations that Prophet Magaya, the leader of PHD, might have had an improper sexual relationship with their daughter, which resulted in a child being born.
But as the nation digested the latest round of sexual allegations against Prophet Magaya, who is no newcomer to such allegations, the Maenzanise daughter poured water on the story.
In a video released on Facebook last weekend, she denied ever having been raped by the prophet.
But the Maenzanise interview opened the floodgates and by mid-week, a number of women were opening up on the several improper sexual encounters they have had with Prophet Magaya.
Two prominent politicians, whom we cannot name as they are still weighing their options — whether to go public or not, were also allegedly sexually abused and harassed. One of the politicians’ daughter was also sexually abused.
“I am coming out not because I have any scores to settle with Magaya, nor that I want his money but because I want justice to be done. I am doing this for the girl child, many of whom were sexually abused at the church and who might not be strong enough to stand up to him,” said Charity Dlodlo on Wednesday.
She travelled from Malawi, where she is currently based as a swimming coach, to file charges against the prophet.
“This is not the first time that I have been raising these allegations but previously no one would listen to me. The police were compromised and so were most of the journalists, but I am hoping that the opening up by the Maenzanises will go some way in bringing closure to the many sexual allegations against Magaya,” she said.
Dlodlo, who gained fame on Studio 263 as Mai Madziva, said she joined PHD Ministries on August 2, 2015, “a date that I remember so well because I manifested on that very day”.
Probably given her fame from the soap opera, her manifestation caught the eye of the prophet. And when she checked into the Marlborough guest house for a one-on-one session with the prophet, she was invited to the main church for further “deliverance”.
As someone who was witnessing the power of the prophet first-hand, she did not see anything amiss with the invite and the subsequent offer of ministry work. Later on, offers to financially help with her rent came.
“When the offer to pay my rent came, I saw nothing amiss as I thought this was the man of God living up to his word. I accepted the money and didn’t see any ulterior motive,” narrated Dlodlo.
Then a year into the church, rumours of the various allegations against the prophet started circulating. “Then I did not take the allegations seriously as someone who had witnessed the power of Magaya,” she said.
As part of her voluntary ministry work, for which she was paid just a stipend, Dlodlo would help a class with acting lessons. She would also vet testimonies that would later be aired on Yadah TV, the PHD Ministry’s television channel.
“Through the vetting exercise, I came face-to-face with the work of Prophet Magaya, and every testimony that I came across emboldened my faith and trust in him.
“Then the day Prophet Magaya went to Israel, Sarah Maruta, whom I had become close to during the acting lessons, phoned to say she wanted to talk to me. We met in town and after some lunch, when I was about to say my goodbyes, she opened up. She told me she had been raped by Prophet Magaya.”
Dlodlo’s initial reaction was to deny the allegations on behalf of the prophet, telling Maruta that a man of Magaya’s stature would not stoop so low.
“Earlier on, the prophet had told me to appraise him if any girl had opened up to me about any problems, whatever problem. So when the prophet came from Israel, I approached him with Sarah’s allegations, which he flatly denied and asked me to keep him in the loop of what Sarah was saying to me,” recounted Dlodlo.
So it was in keeping with that spirit that Dlodlo would forward to the prophet all the communication between her and Sarah.
In the meantime, it is said the prophet was keeping Dlodlo pampered, making sure she got all the financial help that she wanted.
But when she was asked to steal Maruta’s cellphone, that is when she realised she was playing for the wrong team.
Then her moment came.
She was asked to come to the Prospect offices where she knelt before the prophet, as per church tradition. When the man of cloth rose from his chair, she assumed he was coming to pray for her, possibly with his hand placed on her head.
But instead, he kissed her and touched her breasts. In response, Dlodlo cried out loud, possibly attracting the attention of those who were nearby.
This encounter came after several WhatsApp messages from the prophet to Dlodlo, some which included pornographic videos, she further alleges. She said after that encounter, the prophet made efforts to keep her close — as well as pampered, financially.
But Maruta was not as lucky as Charity, as she claims she was raped at a house in Borrowdale (address withheld), not once, but twice. The second rape incident resulted in her getting pregnant.
The pregnancy, she further alleges, was forcibly terminated at one of the biggest hospitals in Harare, again at the instigation of the prophet.
“Mai Chibhero (name changed by this publication) is at the centre of most of the sexual abuses happening at PHD, she acts more like a pimp for the prophet, and she is the one who accompanied me to hospital and made sure my pregnancy was terminated. She also accompanied me to a shopping trip to South Africa, a trip which I strongly believe was arranged to kill me,” further accused Maruta.
She claims that when she found out that she was pregnant, especially a pregnancy borne of a rape encounter, she could not stomach it and attempted suicide. When she was admitted at the said hospital due to the attempted suicide, she was drugged and chained to a hospital bed.
She claims that it was in that drugged stupor that her pregnancy was terminated.
And then the hush money started pouring in, with Mai Chibhero, Admire Mango and a prominent Harare lawyer involved in the negotiations for the settlement.
After a letter of demand was written to Prophet Magaya, a copy of which is in our possession, the prophet agreed to settle out-of-court so that Maruta would not press any charges against him.
“Financial help continued to come towards my rentals, general upkeep and he even advised me to start cross-border trading”, said Maruta.
The money that was advanced to Maruta comes close to $100 000.
“This money was paid at different stages and times, some of it in hard currency, some through bank transfers from his church account into my personal account and some of it as RTGS dollars,” claimed Maruta.
She said she is not surprised that Mrs Maenzanise’s daughter has denied that she had been raped, as possibly she could have been paid off.
“Everyone at PHD knew about her case and we are not surprised that she has turned against her mother, chances are she was paid off,” she said.
“In fact, there are many girls at the church who have been sexually abused. There is Teclar, Caroline, Petronellah, Precious and Diana, to name just a few of these girls. I know these girls because there came a time when we opened up to each other and we would openly discuss these issues.
“Besides, there came a time when we went to church and we knew every girl who was being handed an envelope, we knew what it meant — she would have slept with the prophet.”
She even alleges that some of the girls, on discovering these improper sexual liaisons with the prophet, would become jealous of each other.
“But the weird thing is, when we discussed our encounters with him, most of us professed of having had weird dreams. At times you would dream having sex with a snake, kissing a snake or something weird. And what made it even worse was that he would ask if we had dreamt about him,” narrated Maruta.
She also alleged that whenever an announcement was made in church that the prophet was looking for 17-year-olds or university student girls to employ, “we knew what it meant, he was looking for new girls”.
Efforts to talk to Prophet Magaya on Friday proved fruitless as he was said to be out of the country, together with his spokesperson, Admire Mango. Both were not reachable.
When reached for comment, Mai Chibhero said she could not speak on church issues and referred all questions to Mango.
The lawyer, who was involved in the hush money settlement, said he could not speak to the Press as he has a confidentiality clause with his client. He also could not speak on behalf of the church as he is not the church’s spokesperson.
For feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org