A Zimbabwean pastor drowned a woman during her baptism because she 'appeared like a vampire', a court has heard.
Masimba Chirayi, 37, appeared at Harare magistrate's court on Thursday charged with culpable homicide in the death of congregant Wendy Thinnamay Masuka.
Masuka died over the weekend while being baptized by Chirayi in the Nyaure River, around 35 miles north of the capital.
Chirayi denied intentionally drowning Masuka, saying he kept her underwater because he feared she had become possessed.
'In my eyes, she was like a vampire possessed by demons, she was violent and I thought she was going to kill people,' New Zimbabwe reported.
'I kept her submerged in water until I overpowered her.'
Chirayi was released on a $50 bond and is due back in court again next month.
He is an apostolic preacher at the New Johanne Masowe church, which is the largest religious sect in Zimbabwe.
Several congregants are expected to testify against him, it is reported.
Belief in the supernatural is widespread in Zimbabwe and the government officially recognizes the existence of supernatural powers.
In 2006 minsters lifted a colonial-era ban on practicing witchcraft, though said it should not be used to harm another person.
Shortly before Robert Mugabe was ousted from power by now-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, he accused his former deputy of practicing witchcraft on him.
In nearby Malawi, 250 people were arrested last year after a spate of vigilante killings amid widespread fears that vampires were stalking the country.
Date Posted: Thursday, April 19th, 2018 , Total Page Views: 1168
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