I picked the case of Charity Dlodlo and Sarah Maruta and decided to provide a platform for them to speak out, after a bombshell of an article confirmed the concerns for women and girls abuse, as well as power and money, confirming my long standing suspicions at this ‘church’.
On Sunday the 7th of July 2019 we woke up to an unbelievable article in the Sunday mail titled ‘Magaya Bombshell’, an article which outlined how women in the Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministry of Walter Magaya alleged to have been sexually abused and taken advantage of by Magaya.
One of the ladies Sarah Maruta was soon to recant through the release of a video claiming that the other woman Charity Dlodlo had lied and forced her to go to the Sunday Mail to report without her consent and that they had coached her to lie.
Immediately upon reading the paper, as well as after watching the statement of the Maenzanise family on video outlining the ordeal of their daughter whom they said was raped and abused as a minor until she sighed a child with Magaya, including the denial of the rape allegations by the Maenzanise daughter and her husband, i chose to reach out to Charity Dlodlo.
I would reach out to use my platform on Identities to allow her to tell her story. Upon reaching out to her, Charity seemed happy to tell her story, and further explained her ordeal to me. By Monday we would meet and spend two hours in the evening with her explaining the case of sexual assault that she endured at the hands of Magaya to me in the city. I would further offer her the #IdentitiesConversations platform to share her story with the world.
My decision to share her story was centred on the belief and my experience with victims or survivors of sexual abuse and rape in my work as a human rights activist, that they need a space to speak out if they have become this bold to approach news papers, and that an interview would lay it out there as a foundation for others to come forward, and for state to officially launch an investigation and account to the people.
Most importantly, having read and listened to the audio of one of Magaya’s alleged victims who was also a student, Petronella some years back where she recorded Magaya bribing her to not speak out on her sexual relationship by him, i was convinced that something was not right at the ‘church’ and how ‘church’ money was being used to abuse and silence women.
As part of my preparation to the interview i got access to document that outlined messages, voice records that were exchanged between her and senior leaders in the church, as well as other female victims where she frantically demands to see Walter Magaya who seemed to not prioritise their meeting. These documents had already been shared with the Sunday Mail.
I discovered a number of things in these source documents which make a strong case that whatever is happening at PHD must be investigated and brought to light as abuse of both resources, power and women who end up taking the money because of the need to survive.
Interviewing Charity Dlodlo on Wednesday the 10th of July 2019 on my Facebook Page Identities Media Holdings where a number of online media platforms also covered, i discovered that many women seem to have been taken advantage of but they choose to play along the game and target money out of Magaya, who seem to sometimes not want to part with it but ends up paying up when his victims threaten to go public or actually go public.
Less than 72 hours after my interview with her, Charity Dlodlo is now apologising and she calls what happened(her going public with Magaya’s cases) inspired by evil spirits. Her message reads; ‘I wish to apologise to the man of god prophet Magaya, it was the work of the devil in my life, from now on i will not be fighting i realise its no use fighting a man of God, who was sent to help others, to the man of god prophet Magaya, please forgive me for all that i’ve been doing to you via social media, find it in your heart to forgive me, as the man of god you are, thank you’.
When i saw the Facebook post i was not surprised, but disappointed. I realised that ‘my sister’ had bowed either to the money or to the pressure. Sarah Maruta, Chenesai Maenzanise and now Charity Dlodlo are all women with one common thread; a history of sexual abuse with Magaya and a sudden turn around.
Why? This is the urgent question that should move the authorities in this country to action immediately upon corruption allegations at Magaya’s ‘church’, that he is paying his victims money, and his victims are accepting to survive, or better still are intimidated. Magaya’s ‘church’ must be immediately closed and investigated!.
In the video where Charity recants, she seems timid, and says ‘i cant fight the man of god’, a statement that is telling, on the possible abuse of power and intimidation she might have suffered. There are many claims she makes in her interview with myself in the video available at the above mentioned Facebook Page that authorities can not pay a blind eye to. She’s been to the police and has lost a docket, the second her statement is changed even though she ends up loosing both cases.
She has made a quick turn around on such huge claims and must be encouraged to speak and account for what she has sofar revealed. This recent action by Charity should inform the state that there is something absolutely not right at this church where victims swiftly withdraw cases of abuse. It is either they are being paid to be silent or they are being bullied to be quiet.
Abuse of women and girls in churches has increased in recent years and so has been the cases of incarceration for perpetrators such as Gumbura, closure of cults such as Budiriro Masowe. In all instances common threads were abuse of power, money and violation of women and girls rights, the hard hit by economic hardships. In the case of Magaya, women are turning desperate and seem to accept money over justice.
Citizens like Charity Dlodlo must be encouraged by protection to be responsible and corporate with the state to unearth the rot that is at PHD ministries, and the state must be responsible and disallow the female vulnerability that the sexualisation of their bodies continue to endure for survival even in churches.
Through my short personal experience working on this case this week,the offer of money is not limited and money is flaunted to anybody who touches any of these cases by this ‘ministry’, so are the threats and fear of Magaya. Those to work on this case must be protected and of high moral standing to allow the law to take its course without being compromised.