The founder of Goodness and Mercy Ministries, Prophet Tapiwa Freddy, has been arrested by the police on rape charges.

He is expected to appear in court today.

Freddy, 39, allegedly forced himself on the 33-year-old ZBC Radio presenter Rutendo Makuti on several occasions after her husband died in 2019.

Rutendo, who made a police report on November 13, told investigators she delayed reporting the attacks which began in 2020 out of fear of Freddy, a man of means who has a large following.

An internal police memo seen by ZimLive said she was referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital for a medical examination, with Freddy expected to be picked up for questioning this week.

Rutendo told police that sometime in November 2019, her husband fell ill and she sought “spiritual assistance” from Freddy. After prayers, the man’s health did not improve.

“The accused person (Freddy) invited complainant to his workplace and gave her US$2,500 to ferry her husband to Karanda Hospital for medical attention. However, barely a week later, complainant’s husband died in hospital and the accused person offered assistance towards the burial,” the police memo says.

Rutendo told police that months later, but in 2020, Freddy proposed love to her and she turned him down.

Freddy, police were told, asked Rutendo if he could visit her son in the rural areas, to which she agreed. He returned to Harare with the son, arriving at the woman’s Mt Pleasant Heights home in the evening.

The self-styled prophet allegedly told Rutendo that it was late and asked to stay the night.

Freddy, it is alleged, slept on Rutendo’s bed while she sat on a chair. Moments later, he allegedly went over to her, “forcefully lifted her and placed her on the bed” before rap_ing her without using protection.

It is alleged the preacher repeated the visits to Rutendo’s residence and rap_ed her each time.

Freddy denies rap_e and says Rutendo was trying to extort him.

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