Sydney Mubaiwa in Zaka
Three self-proclaimed “prophets” here have been jailed for an effective nine years each, after they stole a beast worth $500 and slaughtered it to feed their congregants.
The trio – Matarirano Gutu (22), Promise Ndlovu (22) and Tarisai Takawira(23) all of Zaka – who belong to Madzibaba Enguwo Tsvuku apostolic church, initially denied the stocktheft charges levelled against them when they appeared before Zaka resident magistrate Mrs Florance Nagu last week.
Mrs Nagu jailed them due to overwhelming evidence after a full trial.
In their defence, the self-styled prophets told the court they had stolen and slaughtered the beast as a form of contribution to their tithe offering.
“Your Worship, we were trying to make ends meet, that is why we slaughtered the beast,” said Gutu while pleading for a lighter sentence. “We were desperate because we had nothing to feed congregants who were at our church gathering.
“We are appealing for this court to pardon us and take into consideration that we are all young and have families to look after.”
Mrs Nagu was not impressed and said an effective nine-year sentence would do justice to the offence committed by the trio.
“This court has taken into consideration that you are all youthful and first offenders, but it has also considered the Stock Theft Act, which stipulates that any person who acquires or possesses stolen stock will be sentenced to nine years,” she said.