A pastor with the Revival Ministries Church, Mark Mhindu, has been slapped with a four-year jail term for duping former Zifa chief executive, Henrietta Rushwaya, of a house in Greendale.
The pastor will, however, not go to prison after his sentence was wholly suspended.
Regional magistrate William Bhila convicted and sentenced Mhindu to a four-year prison term, but spared him from doing time after suspending two years of the sentence on condition of good behaviour.
The remaining two were also suspended on condition that the man of cloth paid Rushwaya $75 000 as restitution by end of January.
Prosecutor Takawira Nyasha had called for an effective jail term for the pastor whom he described as a bad role model in society who practiced what he did not preach.
“Being a pastor makes his moral blameworthiness very high and with his conduct, society will not look up to him,” Nyasha said. “Accused (Mhindu) on his own admission said he sold the house to the complainant well knowing that he had already sold the same house to another person. It goes to show how cunning he is,” Nyasha told the court.
The court heard that in October 2004, Mhindu sold house No. 51 Court Road in Greendale, built on 13 379 square metres, to Norman Zimvu, but later sold the same house to Rushwaya.
He misrepresented to Rushwaya that he was still the owner of the property and sold it to her for 75 million Zimbabwean dollars, knowing he had already surrendered the title deeds of the said property to Zimvu.
After receiving the money from Rushwaya, Mhindu never delivered on his promise and efforts by her to occupy the house proved fruitless, prompting her to take the matter to the police leading to his arrest.