A bogus prophet who 'stole' a Chitungwiza Christian-couple of property worth US$1,200 he claimed was contaminated with evil spirits has been sentenced to a year in prison.

Mabel Mutukwani (27) of Unit C, Seke, Chitungwiza, on September 14 this year approached Emmanuel Musonza (41) of Vera Village in Seke at his shrine. The court heard that Mutukwani, a Christian full of faith in prophets, was seeking spiritual healing for her sick child.

He ordered her to kneel down and told her that her husband, who works in South Africa, was using juju to amass wealth. Musonza said that was why the child was sick.

He told Mutukwani that he was going to conduct a cleansing ceremony on the property at their house. Two days later, Musonza proceeded to Mutukwani's house where he took a DSTv decoder, a home theatre, a bed and a DVD player. He said the property would be burnt at his shrine since it was contaminated with evil spirits.

Musonza converted the property to his own use instead of burning it as promised. When he heard that Mutukwani's husband had returned and was demanding his property, Musonza panicked.

He was then reported to the police whom he tried to dupe by saying he had destroyed the property in a faraway place and was asked to take them there. He kept on changing the goal- posts leading to the revelation that he was using the property.

While at the police station, Musonza borrowed Mutukwani's cellphone and called his wife instructing her to burn the property to cover up the offence. Appearing before Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Mr Lazarus Murendo, Musonza pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

Mr Murendo sentenced him to two years in prison, but conditionally set aside six months for five years. A further six months were suspended on condition he paid back US$1 200 to Mutukwani.

Ms Zuvarashe Mushayabasa prosecuted.

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