By Simbarashe Sithole
Former Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe pastor for Madziwa assembly, Stranger Mutara (49), was yesterday arraigned before Bindura magistrate after he allegedly forged signatures for a church account and withdrew $320, which he converted to his own use.
Appearing before magistrate Maria Msika, the suspect pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded out of custody to June 14.
The State alleges that on November 29 last year, Mutara was defrocked and forced to resign together with Christopher Rusere, who was a church administrator.
The two were signatories to AFM (Madziwa) First Capital Bank Bindura branch account.
The former pastor allegedly hatched a plan to forge Rusere’s signatures in order to access the church’s bank account.
The court heard that on December 19 and 29 last year, he withdrew some money from the church account before using the same modus operandi on January 7 and 22 this year.
He allegedly withdrew $320 and he transferred $77 to Nyaradzo Life Assurance Company.
The church, however, discovered the fraud and filed a police report, leading to Mutara and Rusere’s arrest.
Rusere then told the investigating officers that his signature had been forged. Edward Katsvairo prosecuted.