Lawrence Dhukuza, a Chipinge self-styled prophet, was sentenced to a year in prison for illegally detaining a minor girl at his homestead and is also linked to satanism.
Dhukuza (35) of Christ Life Church was arrested last week after causing havoc at Clearwater’s Bosclof Business Centre, where villagers accused him of indoctrinating minors in satanism.
Dhukuza was hauled before Village head Mwandeka’s court after community members complained that he was recruiting young people into his cult, the majority of whom attended Clearwater Secondary School.
According to Manica Post, parents claimed in community court that Dhukuza was interfering with learning at the school after some of his young members brought silver rings to the school and some of them acted strangely.
Village head Mwandeka ruled that Dhuzuka should be handed over to the police for him to produce his faith healing certificate and also explain why he unlawfully kept a 14-year-old girl at his homestead.
This led to Dhukuza’s arrest and his subsequent court appearance at Chipinge Magistrates Court last week on Wednesday.
Dhukuza was arrested together with his aide, Philip Masererese (19), who was however acquitted.
The duo appeared before Chipinge magistrate, Mr Alfred Chinembiri, facing kidnapping charges.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Prosecuting, Mrs Deliya Khataziye said on March 11, the complainant who is a 14-year-old and her two elderly relatives went to Dhukuza’s shrine to visit the complainant’s brother who was not feeling well and staying there.
“Upon arrival, Dhukuza greeted the complainant and prayed for her. He told the complainant’s relatives that she was possessed with evil spirits and needed deliverance,” said Mrs Khataziye.
The minor’s relatives then left her at Dhukuza’s shrine and returned home.
They told the complainant’s mother, Ms Last Ziyadhuma, what had transpired.
“This did not go well with the complainant’s mother and she went to Dhukuza’s shrine intending to collect her daughter.
“Dhukuza told Ms Ziyadhuma that she could not collect her daughter until she had been exorcised. Repeated efforts to collect the minor were unsuccessful and Dhukuza later took the minor to his homestead and locked her in a room. The matter was reported to the police,” said Mrs Khataziye.
Asked why he committed the offence, Dhukuza said he wanted to ‘help’ the minor.
“Your worship, at our church, we always seek parents’ consent before offering deliverance. I intended to help the minor since the spirit had told me that she was possessed by evil spirits,” he said.
Mr Chinembiri slapped Dhukuza with 12 months imprisonment. Six months were suspended on the condition of good behaviour.