HARARE – Wedding plans for a Kingdom Embassy church couple almost went off the rails after their pastor allegedly converted to his own use US$1800 meant for the wedding preparations.
Trust Sibanda and his wife allege that pastor Israel Mateyu (27) allegedly converted the money and failed to give a satisfactory explanation. The couple filed a police complaint leading to the arrest Pastor Israel who doubles up as a wedding planner.
Pastor Israel, represented by Tungamirai Chakurira or Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, was brought before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba. The pastor will be back in court on the 7th of September 7 and will be out of custody on US$100 bail.
The state led by prosecutor Netsai Mushayabasa, alleges that sometime in April 2015, Trust and his wife Perpetua went to Pastor Israel at his church office at 109 Robert Mugabe, needing help to plan their wedding.
Pastor Israel and Trust then drew up a plan for the wedding, with Trust paying the money. Indications are that six days before the wedding Trust went with his relatives to Pastor Israel to check on the progress of the wedding plans and also to see the breakdown of the total costs but the man of God referred him to his assistant named Clayton.
It is the state ‘s case that the said Clayton then referred Trust back to Pastor Israel and when they (Pastor Israel and Trust) finally met, the pastor said he had only paid for the venue at Mvuriwedombo Gardens in Hatfield.
And when Trust went to Mvuriwedombo, he realised that pastor Israel had only paid US$2200,and he failed to account for US$1800.
Trust pleaded with Pastor Israel to give him his money saying that the money was needed for the decoration, flowers, fuel, public address system, photography, video filming and the payment of the marriage officer.
When they tried all efforts to recover their money from Pastor Israel but to no avail, trust lodged a police report leading to the pastor’s arrest.
Kingdom Embassy church is run by Prophet Passion Java.