A 27-YEAR-OLD United Apostolic Church deacon has been slapped with a four-year jail term for stealing R70 000 from a Zvishavane businessman’s car last week.
Strive Dube was sentenced on his own plea of guilty while his two suspected accomplices Bongani Mguni (32) and Joab Ncube (22) denied the charge when they appeared before Zvishavane magistrate Archie Wochiunga.
In passing sentence, Wochiunga strongly warned church leaders to remain loyal to God’s word and not use unscrupulous means to enrich themselves.
“Men of God must live an exemplary life to the community. You will spend four years behind bars, but two years shall be suspended on condition that you pay back $214 500 and another year suspended on good behaviour,” the magistrate ruled.
Mguni and Ncube are set to return to court on Monday for continuation of trial.
The State heard that last Saturday evening, businessman Wellington Nyoni, who runs several businesses in the mining town, was spotted by Dube placing a bag of hard cash on the back seat of his BMW car.
Together with his suspected accomplices, Dube tailed Nyoni into Shaisa Shaft Bar, where the latter was having some drinks.
At around 2am, Dube got into Nyoni’s car unnoticed and hid at the back seat.
Nyoni drove his car from Shaisa to Downtown Sports Bar, parked and left the car. Dube, Mguni and Ncube then took away the money and left.
Nyoni later reported the theft to the police. On September 22, police got information that Mguni and Ncube were living large in Bulawayo and made a follow-up.
The accused persons became aware that they were being monitored and left Bulawayo for Zvishavane, but were intercepted by police, leading to their arrest.