Lusaka Pastor goes in 5 years for swindling widow

By Staff Reporter

A PASTOR from Interdenominational Jesus Ministries in Lusaka has been sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour for swindling a widow out of K260, 000, which was part of benefits she received from Zambia Army for her late husband.

Pastor John Simfukwe was charged with theft by agent after he swindled Mildred Chikato K260,000 on the pretext that he would help her buy a house and start a business.

This happened between August 16, 2016 and August 17, 2018.

Delivering judgement, magistrate Kaoma said the man of God swindled the widow and had intentions to permanently deprive her.

Chikato on the dates when the pastor swindled her entrusted him with K170,000 to help her buy a house and another K90,000 to help her start a business.

The pastor had told Chikato that he had connections in the government and would get a tender to be supplying beans and kapenta.

During trial of the case, it was heard that Chikato took tithe of K5,000 to Church and when pastor asked how much she had, she told him she had K339,000 which was paid to her as terminal benefits for her late husband who was a Zambia Army employee.

The pastor then advised Chikato that tithe was 10 per cent of the total and the complainant topped up her tithe to K33,900.

Pastor Simfukwe then asked Chikato what she wanted to do with the rest of the money and she said she wanted to buy a house, deposit some in a fixed account for the children’s school fees and start up a business.

The pastor offered to help her find a house to buy and took her to view one which she liked and gave the man of God K170,000.

Later, Chikato gave the pastor K90,000 to help her start business.

But to her surprise, the pastor started avoiding her and when she inquire about the house, the man of God told her that he was still doing paper work and rented a house for her.

The pastor continued giving her excuses until she reported him to the police.

However, the pastor denied receiving any money from Chikato but admitted that he only got a K65,000 which he paid towards the purchase of the house, a position the landlord confirmed that he paid that bit and remained with K100,000 as balance.

Magistrate Kaoma said the prosecution has proved the case and convicted the pastor.

In mitigation, Pastor Simfukwe asked for leniency but the magistrate jailed him five years with hard labour.

The magistrate compensated Chikato with K200,000 to be levied on the pastor’s properties wherever they will be found.