A trainee Catholic priest facing charges of indecent assault has killed himself.
Tatenda Masenga (23) was accused of indecently assaulted a 17-year-old Kriste Mambo High School student during a church service committed suicide last week. He took his life last Thursday in Marondera where he was staying at Plot Number 15, Esseydale Farm as part of his bail condition which barred him from residing at the school until the case was finalised.
Masenga who was in his sixth year was left with only a year to complete his priesthood studies gulped an unknown poison and died upon admission at Marondera Provincial Hospital.
His lawyer, Mr Leonard Chigadza told The Manica Post that Masenga looked very calm and composed when he engaged him. Mr Chigadza further added that from what Masenga had told him as his defence, the State’s case was weak and there were high prospects of an acquittal.
“I received the news of Masenga’s death through suicide with shock because when he engaged our firm for representation he was very calm and composed. He did not look like a distressed person or something was troubling him. He was very eloquent and clear when giving us his side of the case for us to prepare the defence. His side of the story was that when they were praying he accidentally put his hands on the bench that the girl was seating to support himself. Before he could remove his hands the school girl sat on them.
“He denied totally using his feet to indecently assault the girl. To us, it also did not make sense that he had removed his shoes in church to indecently assault the girl with his feet. That was fabrication. He did not have a defence witness because he said the incident happened when people’s eyes were closed during prayer and none of the State witness also saw the alleged abuse, but they were just relying on what they were told by the girl,” said Mr Chigadza.