TO impress his girlfriend, a Hwange man broke into a Catholic priest’s home and stole US$1 500 before showering the woman with gifts while on a spending spree in Victoria Falls.
Admire Gwenzi (34) of 651 Bagdad in Empumalanga suburb used US$400 to buy an iPhone, two other cellphone handsets and some clothes.
He pampered his girlfriend with US$900.
It emerged that this was not the first time Gwenzi had stolen from Fr Zamberlain Bruno who is the administrator of Don Bosco Technical College in Hwange.
He once stole some money from the priest but was not taken to court after the priest forgave him and withdrew the charges when he returned the money.
In the latest incident, only US$200 was recovered from Gwenzi on his arrest.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful entry into premises when he appeared before Hwange magistrate Ms Rangarirai Gakanje who slapped him with 24 months in jail.
The magistrate suspended six months for five years on condition of good behaviour and suspended a further nine months on condition that Gwenzi restitutes US$1 300 to Fr Bruno on or before September 30.
Gwenzi will serve an effective nine months in jail.
Prosecuting Mr John Mutyakaviri said Gwenzi broke into Fr Bruno’s bedroom when the priest had gone for evening prayers on August 26.
“On the 26th of August at around 8pm, the accused proceeded to Don Bosco Technical College and unlawfully entered into the complainant’s room through an unlocked door. While inside he took US$1 500 which was in the complainant’s wardrobe drawer and went away,” said Mr Mutyakaviri.
The court was told that the money had been brought from Bulawayo on the same day and was meant for workers’ salaries and buying of building material at Don Bosco.
Fr Bruno discovered the theft when he wanted to use the money.
He reported the matter to the police who arrested Gwenzi after investigations and recovered US$200 only from him.
Gwenzi revealed to police that he had used the money to buy an iPhone, two other cellphones and clothes worth a combined US$400.
He said he took the remaining US$900 to Victoria Falls where he spent it with his girlfriend who stays there.