Martha Chiseko of the Celebration Church donated the money that she realised from illegally selling a stand in one of Mutare’s opulent suburbs, Fairbridge Park, to one Tendai Dumbura.
Maseko, who appeared before Mutare magistrate Anne Ndiraya last week, was sentenced to 10 months in jail, wholly suspended on condition that she restituted Dumbura US$20 000 in the next two months.
The State led by prosecutor Walter Saunyama said Chiseko took advantage of the fact that her husband, Panganai Kalongoma was away in South Africa and placed an advert in the press selling the stand without the husband’s consent.
Chiseko and Kalongoma jointly owned the stand that was registered under Deed Number 100406AL.
After placing the advert in the press on April 24 this year, Chiseko was approached by Dumbura with the intention of buying the stand.
She then misrepresented to Dumbura that she had been given permission to sell the stand.
The court was told that Chiseko and Dumbura reached an agreement of sale and the payment was made through Mugadza, Chinzamba and Partners Legal Practitioners.
Saunyama said: “Dumbura was made to believe that Chiseko’s husband would come to Zimbabwe on May 14 2012 to sign the agreement of sale and change of ownership.”
When the husband did not show up, Dumbura tracked Kalongoma in South Africa but he professed ignorance of the sale.
“I asked him (Kalongoma) about the change of ownership and he professed ignorance of the matter. He said he had not given any permission to his wife to sell the stand,” said Dumbura. “I then approached Chiseko to reverse the deal but she refused resulting in me making a police report.”
Police recovered US$6 000 from Celebration Church. The other US$10 000 was invested at Capital Base Savings and Credit Society, while the US$4 000 was not recovered.