A self-proclaimed Epworth prophet allegedly demanded 50 beasts from an Alexandra Park man after performing rituals at his house.
Gordon Ganga (29) of New Gada, Overspill in Epworth appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Vongai Muchuchuti facing charges of fraud.
Ganga is in custody and is expected back in court on July 31. The complainant is Tineyi Chakabva who is employed by National Foods as an events manager.
Prosecutor Mr Desire Chidanire alleged that on April 4 this year at number 25 Churchill Avenue, Alexandra Park in Harare, Chakabva and her relative hired a prophet for a cleansing ceremony at his home.
It is alleged that three self-styled prophets, including Ganga, conducted prayers at the house and one of them indicated that there was a snake in the house.
The trio led the family to where the alleged snake was, the court heard. Ganga allegedly showed the family a snake and one of the prophets who feigned a trance told Chakabva and her family that they needed 50 cattle to make the evil spirit go away, each beast charged at $500.
Chakabva's sister gave Ganga $2 400 and he promised to come back for the balance of $22 600.
After realising that they had been conned, Chakabva called Ganga demanding the return of the money and the snake.
Ganga managed to return $1 700 and the snake, but failed to remit the remaining $700.