Zimbabwe: Pastor Mhindu Jailed

Harare, Zimbabwe - REVIVAL Ministries Church pastor and founder member, Mark Mhindu, convicted of swindling former Zifa chief executive, Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, of a house in Greendale will now serve two years of his suspended sentence after failing to restitute US$75 000.

Mhindu was last year sentenced to four years in jail of which two were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

A further two years were suspended on condition that he restitutes Ms Rushwaya US$75 000.

Through his lawyer Mr Joel Mambara, the pastor made an application of bail pending appeal before regional magistrate Mr William Bhila.

Mr Mambara submitted that the bail application was "just a formality" since his client was out of custody.

He argued that the conviction and sentence were impro-per hence there were prospects of success on appeal.

Appearing for the State, Mr Takawira Nyasha opposed the application saying the conviction and sentence were proper hence there were no prospects of success on appeal.

He submitted that the notice of appeal did not suspend an order of restitution or jail term.

Mr Bhila ruled that indeed there were no prospects of success on appeal hence Mhindu will be in custody until he pays restitution.

He was supposed to restitute Ms Rushwaya on or before January 31 this year.

Ms Rushwaya could not hide her joy yesterday as she praised the Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and his office.

"This shows that the justice delivery system in the country is very functional," she said.

The State proved that sometime in October 2004, Mhindu sold a house Number 51 Court Road in Greendale, built on 13 379 square metres, to Mr Norman Zimvu, but later sold the same house to Ms Rushwaya.

He misrepresented to Ms Rushwaya that he was still the owner of the property and sold it to her for Z$75 million, knowing he had already surrendered the title deeds of the said property to Mr Zimvu.