Lusaka Pastor Troubles Worsen…as court slaps him with three more charges
Written by Millennium on June 23, 2019
ENOCH KADEMAUNGA writes
A PASTOR of Lusaka’s Mountain of the Lord’s House Church who is accused swindling a woman out of over K80, 000 has been slapped with three more charges.
Pastor Sydney Mwandu, 36, allegedly swindled Tina Phiri, 32, out of K80, 500 on pretext that he had won a government contract to build a road in Chingola and that he was looking for partners interested in implementing the project with him.
In count one, it is alleged that between November 1 and 30, 2012 Mwandu obtained K15, 000 from Ms Phiri by falsely pretending that he had a road contract which he needed to partner with her, when in fact not.
In count two, it is alleged that between September 1 and 30, 2019 Mwandu obtained K32, 000 from Ms Phiri on pretext that he bought a tipper truck for use in road construction and needed money to pay import duty to the Zambia Revenue Authority.
In count three, it is alleged that between December 1 and 30, 2015, Mwandu obtained K30, 000 from Ms Phiri by falsely pretending that he needed money to pay the owners of the tipper truck which he hired for use in construction works.
In the fourth count, it is alleged that between October 1 and 30, 2017 Mwandu obtained K3, 500 from Ms Phiri by falsely pretending that he needed money to buy spares for the tipper truck.
And in the fifth count, Mwandu is charged of obtaining credit by false where it is alleged that on August 2, 2018 Mwandu incurred a debt amounting to K5, 500 from Ms Phiri by falsely pretending that he was going to pay back.
When the matter came up for plea before magistrate Alice Walusiku on Wednesday, Mwandu denied all five charges.
In his testimony, Manasseh Kapalwe, who is the accused’s former assistant pastor, confirmed receiving instruction from Mwandu to get K12, 000 from Ms Phiri.
He said after getting the money, he deposited it in the clearing agent account and Mwandu confirmed receiving it.
Mr Kapalwe further said Mwandu also obtained K30, 000 which he needed to pay workers he hired on the copperbelt
He said when Mwandu was apprehended at central police, he admitted obtaining K15, 000, K5, 000, and K12 000 of which he promised to pay back to Ms Phiri.
Mr Kapalwe told the court that before Mwandu was arrested, the two had cordial relations and that to date he had nothing against him.
Earlier, Ms Phiri, who was the State’s first witness, said she gave Mwandu the money because she trusted him as her pastor.
Ms Phiri said she believed that he had won a lucrative road contract from the government and was looking for partners to work with.
The matter comes up on July 17, for continuation of trial.