A Chitungwiza pastor has been arrested on allegations of hiring a hit-man to kill two members of his church who had rebelled against him. Pastor Thomas Makoni pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges when he appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate Renikah Dzikiti.
 
The matter has been remanded to a later date for trial continuation. During the trial of the matter Talent Nyakunengwa, who appeared in court as the witness for the complainants Afra Nhanhanga and Kudakwashe Elliot, alleged that he was the one who was sent by Pastor Makoni to kill the two.
 
“Sometime in June this year, he (Pastor Makoni) came to me in the company of one gentleman around 12 midnight.
 
“I got into their car and that was when he explained he had a job for me to assassinate and bomb some people from his church, whom he said were causing chaos and exposing him to the congregation.
 
“He said I was supposed to beat the two to the point of death he then told me that once I was done the first assignment I was supposed to go and blow another house belonging to Afra Nhanhanga using a petrol bomb.
 
“He told me the reason they were supposed to die was because they were rebelling against him and causing chaos,influencing some church members to leave the church.
 
“He advised me to look for people to help me do this whole job and that he would give me a Mazda Demio and $100 per person killed,” said Talent.
 
Talent added that he then informed Kudakwashe of what Pastor Makoni had planned against him.
 
“I was not prepared to kill anyone so I then informed Kudakwashe about what Makoni had planned, I told him to wear bandages just to pretend as if I had attacked him.When Pastor Makoni saw Kudakwashe, he wasn’t happy because he wanted me to have beaten him to a point of death, so he cautioned me and said I was supposed to make sure he dies.
 
“I then called pastor Makoni and put him on loud-speaker whilst I was in the presence of Kudakwashe.
 
“He said to me that I had not attacked Kudakwashe the way he expected me to do,he also started instructing me to attack Afra and make sure I kill him,” he said.
 
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