A Victoria Falls man who broke into a church, stole an assortment of household goods and tried to blame the offence on someone who died before it was committed, has been sentenced to four years in jail.
William Chirimuuta (39) of 4212 Chinotimba suburb broke into the Anglican Church chapel in Chinotimba and stole a deep freezer before proceeding to the priest’s house on the same premises where he stole a 32-inch television screen, a mattress, bed sheets, blankets and four chickens.
He sold the stolen property to different people in the resort town.
Chirimuuta pleaded not guilty to unlawful entry and theft when he appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate Ms Lindiwe Maphosa. In his defence he claimed that he bought the property from one Brighton who he wanted as his witness.
He claimed that police forced him to admit to committing the crime.
Investigations by the State revealed that Brighton had actually died two weeks before commission of the offence prompting the magistrate to convict Chirimuuta after the State led evidence from four witnesses.
The magistrate slapped Chirimuuta with a four-year jail term.
Prosecuting Mr Bheki Tshabalala said Chirimuuta stole the property on August 13.
The Anglican priest Reverend Darlington Tembo said he had travelled to Bulawayo when Chirimuuta broke into the church premises.
Mr Gerald Dube, Ms Constance Moyo and Mrs Soneni Mlalazi all from Chinotimba told the court how Chirimuuta sold the stolen goods to them.
Chirimuuta ran out of luck after Rev Tembo got an anonymous tip-off directing him to where some of his property was.
The matter was reported to the police leading to Chirimuuta’s arrest.