Pas­tor faces theft charges

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Abel Zhakata Se­nior Week­ender Re­porter

A PAS­TOR with a Sakubva-based church, Chris­tian Gath­er­ing, was on Mon­day hauled be­fore the courts on al­le­ga­tions of de­fraud­ing a con­gre­gant of prop­erty and money on five dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions.

Isheanopa Ma­fuve (27) of House Num­ber 2478 Chikanga 2 ap­peared be­fore Mutare mag­is­trate, Ms Per­se­ver­ance Makala, for con­tra­ven­ing Sec­tion 113(2) (d) of the Crim­i­nal Law Cod­i­fi­ca­tion and Re­form Act Chap­ter 9:23.

He de­nied the charges say­ing the com­plainant, Pa­tience Katu­ruza, a Zimra em­ployee, freely gave him the money and prop­erty as church of­fer­ings.

Public pros­e­cu­tor, Mr Mathew Chimu­tunga, told the court that the pas­tor stole the money and prop­erty from the con­gre­gate some­time last year.

“The com­plainant and the ac­cused are re­lated in that the com­plainant was a mem­ber of the Chris­tian Gath­er­ing church which is led by the ac­cused. Some­time in May 2017, the ac­cused bor­rowed a Hewlett-Packard lap­top from the com­plainant solely for the pur­poses of do­ing his as­sign­ments.

“The com­plainant gave the ac­cused her lap­top with trust that the ac­cused would re­turn it af­ter com­plet­ing his as­sign­ments. Af­ter a while the com­plainant re­quested back her lap­top but the ac­cused failed to give a sat­is­fac­tory an­swer con­cern­ing the where­abouts of the lap­top,” said Mr Mu­tunga.

As re­sult, he said, com­plainant was prej­u­diced of her lap­top val­ued at $600.

In the sec­ond count the court heard that the pas­tor stole $220 from the same com­plainant.

“Again in May 2017, the com­plainant told the ac­cused per­son that she wanted to open a shop at Chikanga 2 shop­ping cen­tre. Dur­ing that pe­riod, the two agreed that the ac­cused would be re­spon­si­ble for do­ing stock pur­chases from whole­salers and de­liver them to them to the shop. He was also re­spon­si­ble for the day-to-day run­ning of the shop, which in­cluded the col­lec­tion of daily tak­ings and hand­ing them to the com­plainant.

“On Septem­ber 22, the ac­cused was given a CBZ ATM card solely for the pur­poses of pur­chas­ing stock from N Richards. The ac­cused bought stock val­ued at $417 and de­liv­ered it to the shop. The shop only op­er­ated for two weeks from the date of the pur­chase. The ac­cused dur­ing that time col­lected daily tak­ings amount­ing to $220.40. In­stead of re­mit­ting the daily sales to the com­plainant, the ac­cused per­son con­verted the money to his per­sonal use and noth­ing was re­cov­ered,” said Mr Chimu­tunga.

The of­fence only came to light af­ter the com­plainant re­quested for the daily tak­ings from the ac­cused per­son and the pas­tor did not give a sat­is­fac­tory an­swer to the com­plainant. A po­lice re­port was then made. In count three, the pas­tor al­legedly stole $700 from the same com­plainant.

“Some­time in May 2017, the ac­cused with­drew $900 from the com­plainant’s CBZ ac­count us­ing the ATM card he was given by the com­plainant. The money was sup­posed to boost stock in the com­plainant’s busi­ness. The pas­tor only gave the com­plainant $200 and put the re­minder $700 to his own use,” said Mr Chimu­tumga.

Pas­tor Isheanopa Ma­fuve

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