Harare High Court judge Justice Emy Tsanga dismissed an application for leave to appeal at the Supreme Court by Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries founder Walter Magaya who is challenging the decision to continue prosecuting him for allegedly raping a congregant.
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Through his lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Magaya filed an application at the Harare High Court challenging the State’s decision to continue with his prosecution after the complainant Petronellah Donhodzo Mandaza’s confession that she had filed a false rape report against him. Mandaza has since sued Prosecutor-General Ray Goba at the High Court challenging the State’s decision to summon her, arguing she is no longer a complainant. In her ruling Justice Tsanga said Magaya’s application lacks merit. She said conducting the trial, which started on April 3 this year is within the dictates of the constitution. Said Justice Tsanga:
The application for leave to appeal lacks merit. The legal provisions and procedures laid out in the Criminal Evidence and Procedure Act on the conduct of a criminal trial do not in any way interfere with the accused’s right to a fair trial,” she said. The judge said there was nothing unconstitutional about the State proceeding with the trial on the basis of a reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed.
In his application, Magaya wanted the court to acquit him on the grounds of the confession made by Mandaza under oath. He argued that the State had no basis to continue with the trial, saying it was unconstitutional under the circumstances.