A ZAOGA church “prayer warrior” who stole sewing machines from his church to boost his business has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment.
Witness Mutsvunguma (29) of Nketa 9 suburb pleaded guilty to theft before Western Commonage Magistrate Ms Tancy Dube.
Magistrate Dube bemoaned the manner in which the name of God is being used in vain.
She said: “This court will make an example of you. Thieves masquerading as devout Christians will not be tolerated. You are therefore sentenced to nine months imprisonment.
“Three months will be suspended on condition of good behaviour for the next five years. You will serve an effective six months jail term, said Ms Dube.”
Mutsvunguma, who runs a shop at Trust House building along 14th Avenue, stunned the court on Wednesday when he said he stole a heavy duty sewing machine and a heavy duty over-locking machine from the church to boost his business.
Visibly annoyed, Ms Dube lashed at Mutsvunguma for stealing from a place of worship.
Said Ms Dube: “You got there pretending to be a prayer warrior, you thief! What kind of a person steals from church? Their own church.”
Prosecuting, Mr Mufaro Mageza said Mutsvunguma went to church pretending he wanted to hold a prayer session on September 1.
“The accused approached the complainant, Mr Francis Chinyere, who is the caretaker at Zaoga Nketa 9 branch, asking to have a prayer session. The complainant unlocked the doors for him and went back to sleep in his house, leaving the accused praying in church,” said the prosecutor.
“The accused stole a heavy duty overlocking machine and a heavy duty sewing machine, which were in the church. He locked them up in a motor vehicle and took them to his brother’s house in Tshabalala.”
The court heard Mutsvunguma returned to the church and woke the complainant, informing him that he was leaving. The caretaker locked the church doors.
The matter came to light three days later when Mr Chinyere discovered the offence. He reported the matter to the police.
Investigations led to the arrest of the “prayer warrior” and recovery of the machines, valued at $600. — @andile_tshuma