MASVINGO – Two church elders from ZCC and SDA who were arrested last year on allegations of fondling a 13-year-old girl from Good Hope Village under chief Musara have been acquitted by Magistrate Mbonisi Ndlovu.
Jephorey Chimenya (60) an SDA elder and Phillip Makamera (73) a Zion Christian Church (ZCC) elder were charged with indecent assault after it was reported that they sprinkled holy water on the complainant and lustfully beat her buttocks with a stick.
Chimenya told The Mirror after the judgement that he was framed by the complainant’s mother because of previous misunderstandings.
“I am a local and church leader in Good Hope. I am very strict when it comes to tree conservation issues and I had a fallout with Marume because of that. She never forgave and she was waiting for an opportunity to fix me,” said Chimenya.
He said although the complainant is underage, she has since married a man by the name Nelson Gutu who stood as a cousin and guardian during the trial.
Efforts to get comment from Marume were futile.