By Sharon Buwerimwe
A SELF-PROCLAIMED prophet from Bulawayo has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for stealing a passport from a church member under the guise that he was praying for it.
Shepherd Mbili (27) from Emakhandeni suburb duped Mr Tagarira Godknows of his passport and used it to travel to South Africa.
Mbili pleaded guilty before Western Commonage magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove. The magistrate sentenced him to 12 months in prison and six months suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next three years.
Mbili said: “I do admit to the allegations levelled against me. I wanted to go to South Africa and I was in desperate need of a passport.”
Prosecuting, Mr Kenneth Shava said last month, Mbili asked Mr Godknows to bring his passport and academic certificates for anointing.
“Mbili took the envelope that had Mr Godknows’ documents and prayed for it. He advised the complainant not to open the envelope fully knowing that he had stolen his passport,” he said.
Mr Godknows said Mbili promised to get him a job in South Africa. “I went to his house with my academic certificates and my passport. He took an envelope from his bedroom and told me not to open the envelope until I’m ready to use it,” he said. “On the 6th of October I opened the envelope to check the last date I went to Zambia and I found out that my passport was missing.”
Mr Godknows said he tried to locate the prophet at his home but could not find him.
“I went to look for Prophet Mbili and his wife told me that he had travelled to South Africa with my passport and would be back soon,” he said.
The matter was reported to the police leading to Mbili’s arrest. The Chronicle