Harare:A married woman and mother of four who was allegedly raped by Grace Ministries founder Onbert Mapfumo (39) has said the pastor claimed he wanted to pray and deliver her from evil spirits causing her to have many children.

Mapfumo was arrested after a Tilda Moyo show on Star FM and appeared in court facing rape charges. Testifying during Mapfumo’s trial before Harare Magistrate Mr Hosiah Mujaya on Tuesday, the woman said she sought the help of the pastor because she was experiencing challenges in her life.

“I did not have a birth certificate or a national identity card, so I failed to finish school and it appeared to be some spiritual influence because my parents had also failed to secure my birth certificate during my childhood,’’ said the woman. “I felt the need for spiritual healing to overcome this problem, which has been troubling me for a long time.’

The woman told the court that she witnessed some of the miracles performed by Mapfumo in church, which lured her to be a permanent member and to trust his prayers.

“The pastor delivered my friend, who was HIV-positive and after he prayed for her she tested negative,’’ she said. “He also helped one of the church members to secure a job through his prayers, while she did not have any qualification.

“That persuaded me to fall for his call to pray for me because I thought he was going to offer deliverance.’’ The woman alleged that Mapfumo informed her there was a spirit causing her to be not prosperous and to bear many children and that needed to be prayed against.

He told her to bring some body lotion so that he would pray for it and apply it on her body and on her womb, the court heard. The woman complied and went for the prayers, which Mapfumo allegedly always did without any help from other church members. The court heard that after praying for the lotion, Mapfumo applied it on the woman’s body and indicated that some of it was to be applied on her womb.

“He told me to lie down, applied the lotion on my privates and inserted his manhood intending to use it to apply the lotion in my womb,’’ she said. The woman alleged that Mapfumo demanded a cow after the alleged rape for the sacrifice he had done to deliver her.

The trial will continue on a later date. Mapfumo, of Southlea Park in Harare, is accused of raping three other female congregants at his prayer room in New Canaan, Highfield, Harare. herald