A 76-year-old Bulawayo Pastor has appeared in court on allegations of raping an epileptic woman from his church.
The pastor was allegedly claiming that he was praying for the woman to heal her from the condition. Pastor Jackson Banda, of 1915 New Magwegwe who is also a pastor at Faith In Christ International Church is facing two counts of rape after allegedly using his penis to ‘heal’ an epileptic woman. He would allegedly invite the woman to his house and tell her that he had sexual intercourse with all the people he prayed for as part of the healing process.
Banda was not asked to plead to two counts of rape when he appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Willard Maphios Moyo. He was remanded in custody to 13 May.
Ms Fiona Ncube for the State told the court that Banda called himself a man of God who cures all diseases. She said Banda would invite his church members to his house for prayer sessions and on 20 March he invited a 26-year-old epileptic woman who he allegedly told that he slept with all his “clients for the prayer to work.”
The court was told that after the first prayer session, Banda instructed the woman to go to his bedroom where the healing session was to be conducted and she complied.
In his bedroom, Banda allegedly told the complainant that she resembled his late wife and the woman, in her statement, said she could not resist when he started fondling her. Banda also allegedly told the woman that he might be looking old but he was still strong to satisfy her and went on to have sexual intercourse with her once.
On another day early last month, the complainant was coming from Mpilo Central Hospital for a routine check-up when she met Banda who invited her to his house for another “prayer-cum-penis” session.
The court heard that the two were supposed to go into the bush where the prayers would be conducted, but Banda told the complainant to go into his bedroom to rest before they could go since she was tired. He allegedly followed into the bedroom and raped her once.
The matter came to light on 24 April when the woman’s mother asked her to go to the pastor’s house for prayers and she refused. The woman told her mother that she feared that the pastor would rape her instead of praying for her.
A report was made to the police leading to the pastor’s arrest.