“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me, in tithes and offerings,” the Bible says in Malachi.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Yet a Celebration Church member will rue the day he dipped his hands into the offering basket and stole money.
The daring congregant from Hopley, Tapiwa Kungati, yesterday escaped a jail sentence when Harare magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta fined him $50 after convicting him of stealing $20 and R20 offering money.
Kungati (29) pleaded guilty when he appeared in court facing theft charges.
He was initially slapped with a two-month prison term, which was wholly suspended for five years on condition he does not commit a similar crime.
Kungati was ordered to pay the $50 fine or spend 20 days in prison.
The court heard that on November 2, Kungati received offering money and placed it in a safety box.
The following day, he reportedly returned to the church armed with a wire, which he used to open the box to steal the money.
But he left a crucial bit of evidence — the envelope that had contained the money — at the scene.
In mitigation, Kungati said he had problems with his landlord.
But Sabarauta asked if it was his behaviour that each time he had problems at home, he would steal, to which Kungati replied that it was his first time.
Meanwhile, two Harare brothers were yesterday hauled before the magistrates’ courts on allegations of labelling a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) official, a witch.
Inkribert and Takawira Mucheche pleaded not guilty when they appeared before magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta, who remanded them to next Monday for trial on $30 bail each.
Regina Jaravaza, a CIO operative, employs the pair’s sister as a maid in Kambuzuma.
Last Sunday, Jaravaza’s maid allegedly fell ill and the CIO operative took her to her brothers’ residence.
But on arrival, the maid, whose name was not mentioned in court, reportedly started assaulting the complainant while her brothers shouted at her, accusing her of practising witchcraft.