04 April 2010
By George Maponga
A 34-year-old Roman Catholic priest based at Rutenga Mission in Mwenezi has been arraigned before a Masvingo magistrates’ court for allegedly raping his 19-year-old maid three times last year.
Father John Dzeka denied the rape charges when his trial opened before Masvingo regional magistrate Mrs Esther Muremba but shocked many when he stated in his defence outline that he actually had a love affair with the maid.
The maid, he alleged, was trying to fix him for abandoning her for another girl.
Dzeka is represented by Mr George Chikumbirike of Chikumbirike and Associates, assisted by Advocate Isaac Muzenda of Muzenda and Partners.
However, it is Dzeka’s revelation that he was in love with the complainant that is set to open a can of worms since Catholic priests take celibacy vows on conferment of priesthood.
He was remanded out of custody to April 26 for continuation of trial.
The trial opened last Thursday with the State led by regional State counsel Mr Rodrick Chipembere assisted by Mr Batanai Mathose.
In her evidence, the complainant insisted that she was raped by Dzeka three times last year and made a report to a fellow Catholic priest, Father Joachim Matare, who was also based at Rutenga at the time.
Father Matare has already been lined up as the second State witness in the matter.
Charges against Dzeka arose from incidents between September 18 and October 30 last year when he allegedly raped the complainant at his house at Rutenga Mission.
Dzeka allegedly locked the door from inside after finding the complainant doing some chores in his house and dragged him into his bedroom where he raped her once on September 18. He allegedly repeated the same feat the next day.
The State alleges that Dzeka raped the complainant using the same modus operandi on October 30 prompting her to make a report to the police leading to Dzeka’s arrest.