A victim in the defilement case involving famous a Chisamba farmer and businessman of Baba Joana Church, Bishop Joshua Matonga, has today narrated the ordeal.
The 14-year-old girl of Chipata Compound in Lusaka who appeared before Lusaka Magistrate, Betty Malupenga, told the court that Bishop Matongo told her that he had been having sex with all the women at his farm, a situation which he said made the women to have soft skin.
The girl told the court that bishop Matongo told her that since she moved to his farm women at the farm did not respect her because she did not have sex with him.
The girl, who is currently in Grade Eight, told the court that she joined the Baba Joana Church sisterhood as per condition that her father left before he died.
She said her father told her that at the time she would turn 14 years old she should join sisterhood at Baba Joana’s Church.
She said last year when she turned 14, her mother prepared all that was required for her to join the sister hood.
The girl narrated that on February 10, last year, she went to Baba Joana Church to join where she was welcomed and introduced to the church as the new sister.
She further said after a week of staying at the church in Marapodi Compound in Lusaka, other sisters from Mr Matongos farm came to congregate and later went with her to the farm.
She explained that during the first week of her stay at the farm in Chisamba she was meant not to help out in doing any household chores or farm works.
Further, the girl said after two weeks, Bishop Matongo asked her to accompany him to the farm where she first touched her breast.
The girl said the first time he touched her on her breast she thought she might have had an insect on her shirt that he may have removed from her but to her surprise he did that twice during the same day.
She explained that on that day she did not know what to do about what happened but decided to go in her room and pray.
The girl, who confirmed to the court having not known Mr Matongo on a personal level, explained that after three days from the first field encounter bishop Matongo invited her to the field again where he told her that she should not be crossing her legs when sitting, adding that such behaviour was tantamount to closing up for him.
“Your honour, he told me that he was ever ready. He then told me that just like the mango tree grows and bares fruits so was I as I had started developing breasts, while pointing at the mango tree in the farm,” narrated that girl.
The girl narrated that after a few days, bishop Matongo sent another girl who had also gone there for sisterhood to call her whist he was in the house.
“Your honour when I entered the house I found bishop Matongo sitted on the bed with his trousers below his waist. As I was taught to be obedient as a sister I knelt down and asked why he called for me. He told me that he wanted her to search for his shoe but to my surprise he grabbed me from the back and pulled me on his bed,” narrated the girl.
The courageous girl, who was visibly strong to stand the group of people in an almost fully packed courtroom, explained that bishop Matongo forced himself on her, leaving her to bleed profusely.
The girl explained that from that day she promised herself to find a way to escape that place, adding that there was no one she could share the sad story with as she was told that all the women at the farm had sex with the same man.
She told the court that during the time she was being abused, a group of women were around and could hear her scream but no one could come to her rescue.
“Your honour, after what happened I started limping but he brought some medicine that I should take but I did not drink because I was not happy and safe staying there,” said the girl.
She said as a time came for bishop Matongo to go for a camp meeting in Zimbabwe, he left K50,000 for the five of us that were left to take care of the farm.
It was at this point that the girl and two others decided to run away from the farm and return to Lusaka as they all confessed to have been sexually abused by bishop Matongo.
Meanwhile in cross examination, Defence Lawyer, Kelvin Bwalya, asked the girl if her parents did not explain what it took for one to join sisterhood at bishop Matongo’s church.
Mr Bwalya also wondered how the church lost some money when the girls ran away as they were suspected to have broken into Mama Stephan’s house who was keeping the church’s money.
Bishop Matongo stands charged defilement of two girls contrary to Section 138 (1) Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars of the offence are that on dates unknown but between June 1 and October 31 while in Chisamba, Matongo had carnal knowledge of girls under the ages of 16.