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A self-proclaimed prophet from the African Faith Mission Church brought proceedings at Masvingo magistrates’ court to a halt yesterday when he got into a trance and started speaking in tongues in apparent protest against his son’s conviction.

This was after the son had been found guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl.

Tatenda Taruziva (18), of Zvidzai Village, Headman Chipindu, Chivi in Masvingo Province, pleaded not guilty to raping the minor but was convicted and slapped with an effective six months imprisonment by Mrs Judith Zuyu after a full trial.

Initially he was sentenced to eight months in jail but two months were conditionally suspended for five years.

The incident that attracted a large crowd happened when a man sitting in the court gallery, identified as the accused’s father Mr Taruziva, suddenly got into a trance as if possessed and started making deafening noises while speaking in a strange language.

A female police officer in the court room had to call extra manpower from outside, as she failed to control the man, who ironically amplified the noise at realising that the officer was ordering him to calm down.

After the court had delivered judgment, the man burst into a deafening noise leaving the whole courtroom stunned with the magistrate seemingly stuck on the course of action to take.

The court was adjourned for close to an hour and it resumed after the police had successfully whisked the man outside the court building.

The man was then asked by the prosecutor, Ms Sofia Busvumani and confirmed that he belonged to AFM Church and was filled with the Holy Spirit, which instructs him what to do.

“I am a man of God and I communicate with him every time when there is injustice being done. While in the court I heard him telling me that the allegations travelled against my son were mere fabrications. It just happened involuntarily and I do not invite it but the bottom line is my son has no case to answer, thus they should let him go,” said Mr Taruziva while sweating profusely.

For the State Ms Busvumani said on 3 April this year, at about 3pm, Tatenda and his victim were herding cattle.

The court heard that Tatenda was walking behind the girl and he pushed her and she fell down while facing upwards.

The court further heard that Tatenda then raped her.

During the course of the rape the girl screamed. Disturbed by the screaming of his victim, the man got off and took to his heels, the court heard

The court heard that the girl immediately left the grazing area and went home to make a report to her mother who then made a formal report to the police leading to the man’s arrest.

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