Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
An auditor with the United Family International Church (UFIC) yesterday took the head of security and two church members to court on allegations of assaulting him after he exposed abuse of funds.
The head of security, Munyaradzi Rukato (37), and Stewart Tongani (34) and Farai Chuma (25) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Gideon Ruwetsa.
They pleaded not guilty to assault charges.
In their defence, Rukato said the complainant, Mulungisi Sibanda, who is also security secretary, is a violent person and an attention seeker.
“No one assaulted him. He became angry after his efforts to intimidate me were fruitless. He followed me to my car shouting,” said Rukato.
“I was surprised to see police officers at the church alleging that I thumped his head. He is disrespectful and is in the habit of interjecting during meetings. He can even start to address people when you are in the middle of any discussion.
“He confronted two pastors earlier that day and barred them from entering the church.”
Chuma and Tongani concurred with Rukato.
The matter was remanded to May 9 for trial.
Prosecutor Ms Netsai Mushayabasa told the court that the fracas happened on September 10 last year during a service at the City Sports Centre.
It is alleged that Sibanda was chairing a meeting since Rukato, who is the chairperson of the security department, was absent.
Sibanda allegedly told congregants that some money paid by church members was miss- ing.
The court heard that Rukato later arrived and ordered Sibanda to sit down while he was still addressing the meeting.
Sibanda allegedly complied but Rukato allegedly went on to insult Sibanda saying he was a nonentity and was not allowed to address the congregation.
It is alleged that Sibanda stood up and argued that he was entitled to address a meeting because he was the church auditor.
It is alleged that Chuma and Tongani then intervened and started assaulting Sibanda together with Rukato.
Rukato allegedly drove away from the scene leaving the duo assaulting Sibanda with another UFIC staffer who was not ar- rested.
It is alleged that other church members just watched and left the scene without coming to Sibanda’s aid.
Sibanda reported the matter to police.