A Chitungwiza pastor, Royce Archibald Kasumba, who swindled the parents of the missing child, Given Flint Matapure, of $2 000 has been jailed four years.
Kasumba (30) told Harare provincial magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini that he was driven into going against the scriptures because the $100 stipend which his Holy Salvation Church was paying him was too little for his needs.
“Your behaviour is contrary to people of your status and you took advantage of the situation that the parents could do anything to have their child back.
The nation at large is praying for the safe return of the child while you are busy taking advantage of the situation,” Jarabini said before sending Kasumba to jail.
Kasumba will serve an effective three-year jail term after six-months were suspended on condition he paid back $1 400 and the remaining six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.Kasumba admitted he used the money to buy a laptop, a television set, a DVD player and a two-plate electric stove.
According to the facts presented in court, Kasumba got the parents’ mobile numbers and sent them a message inviting them for a prayer for the return of the child.
The parents responded and drove to Makoni Shopping Centre where they met Kasumba and held an all-night prayer.
He then lied that he knew where the missing boy was and took the couple to a traditional healer on the border with Mozambique.
He again lied that he had met a certain girl in Avondale who asked for $2 000 to release information on the whereabouts of their son.
The pastor told the parents the girl knew the people who were guarding the boy in Norton.
As soon as the couple paid the $2 000, the pastor became evasive. Three-year-old Given went missing during this year’s Harare Agricultural Show on August 22.