Popular PHD Ministries founder, Prophet Walter Magaya, who was recently sued for adultery by a Harare man, has settled the matter out of court, amid reports he paid over $100 000 in damages.
The out of court settlement saw Denford Mutashu, through his lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, withdraw the adultery civil suit against Magaya from the High Court on September 12.
Although reasons for the withdrawal of the case were not stated in the notice of withdrawal in possession of The Zimbabwe Mail, the newspaper is reliably informed that Magaya would pay Mutashu about $150 000 in damages.
“Take Notice that the plaintiff (Mutashu) hereby withdraws its claim ($500 000) and tenders wasted costs,” reads the High Court notice of withdrawal.
The withdrawal, sources close to Magaya said, was prompted by the settlement out of court, initiated by the clergyman.
“Magaya paid Mutashu $150 000 for the matter to be withdrawn,” one of the sources said. “He opted for out of court talks, and they settled.”
Norman Mugiya, Mutashu’s lawyer, confirmed the withdrawal of the case from the High Court but declined to give reasons.
“I can confirm that my client withdrew the matter and regrettably, I cannot say out the reasons behind the move and I will not comment further,” said Mugiya.
Magaya’s spokesperson, Oscar Pambuka, when asked about the out of court settlement said: “I am passing by Rainbow Towers Hotel…I will pass through your offices shortly.”
Pambuka did not show up as per his commitment. Efforts to get hold of him later were fruitless as he was not answering his mobile phone.
On August 4, Mutashu made sensational accusations against Magaya, claiming he was in possession of video recordings where the prophet allegedly admitted to an adulterous relationship with his wife, Nomsa Ruvazhe.
“Our client is in possession of video recordings where you have admitted to have had an improper relationship with his wife. What is sad is that even after you had a meeting with our client to resolve the matter at your church premises, you are still exchanging love text messages with our client’s wife through your associates whom you treat as counsellors at your church and also bodyguards,” read the letter of demand sent to Magaya by Mutashu’s lawyers.
“We have been advised that our client’s wife (Ruvazhe) came to your church service, at your church premises, allegedly in an attempt to worship. You ordered our client’s wife to stay at one of your lodges for three consecutive days, without the knowledge and consent of our client.
“Our client had to make frantic efforts to locate his wife until he located her with you, where you then claimed to have been ‘spiritually’ assisting her. However, from the day our client’s wife left her matrimonial home for your company, she has been very aggressive and rude to her husband, and had the audacity of telling our client that she was better off with you than her lawful husband.”
Mutashu then issued summons at the High Court.
On August 18, Mutashu filed criminal charges with the police, accusing Magaya of bigamy as he had married Ruvazhe under chapter 5:11.
On 21 August, Magaya, through his lawyers Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, responded to the summons, challenging Mutashu to provide evidence whether any sexual relationship between him and Ruvazhe had occurred.
Magaya added that Mutashu’s declaration must be dismissed as it contains evidence that is speculative and irrelevant. Magaya’s lawyers argued that the High Court must dismiss the charges with costs.
The matter then took another twist soon afterwards when former Zifa chief executive officer Henrietta Rushwaya, a former official in PHD finance department, was arrested on reported allegations of masterminding an attempt to extort Magaya of thousands of dollars.
It was reported that Rushwaya was the one trying to influence Magaya to pay the $500 000 to Mutashu to avoid soiling his image, and that of his church.
Rushwaya was, however, released without a charge.
Source: The Zimbabwe Mail