Pastor pockets church’s K106,000? – dragged to court for alleged forgery

Written by on July 5, 2019

KETRA KALUNGA writes         

A PASTOR of Grace Church in Zambia has been taken to court by his own church for allegedly stealing K106,117.

The ‘man of God’ suspected to have forged and uttered false documents to take the money.

Chrispine Mudia, 38, of House No. 2 Railways Township, Kabwe, is charged with 15 counts of forgery and uttering of false documents.

In the first count, Mudia is charged with theft by servant.

Particulars of the offence are that between June 1, 2017 and November 30, 2018, being a servant of Grace Church in Zambia as a pastor, stole K106,117 the property of the same church.

In the second to count, he is charged with forgery.

It is alleged that between March 1-31, 2018, with intent to defraud and deceive, forged a monthly expense report for Grace Church in Zambia in the names of Dorothy Mulenga.

The report purported to show that Mulenga had prepared it when in fact not.

In the third count, Mudia is charged with uttering of false documents.

Particulars of the offence are that between March 1 and 31, 2018, with intent to defraud and deceive, uttered (presented) a false document, a monthly expense report for Grace Church in Zambia, to Thomas Sanchez, a missionary for Grace Ministries International Church in Zambia.

He has denied all the 15 charges.

When the matter came up for defence before magistrate Sebastian Mwenya, Mudia told the court that he had never failed in his duties as a pastor to account for the money that was given to him with specific instructions.

When his lawyer, Jeremiah Sinkende, of Kabesha and Company asked him to identify the documents that were given to him by a woman identified as Muyangana and Munyomvwa, a treasurer, to give to someone, he recognised them as signed receipts and the people who had signed them.

Mudia said the receipts he received indicated a certain amount of money that was to be given to him as a church pastor for the feeding and orphans care programme in four community schools in Kabwe’s Kamushanga, Nakoli, Mufulira and Mbala districts.

But prosecutor Wisdom Mulinda told the court that the State would not accept the documents produced before the court as evidence because they were not original but e-mail copies.

The defence lawyer, however, argued that the State could not object to documents because the argument had no backing.

Magistrate Mwenya said he had taken into consideration the submissions from the defence and the State and asked to be given more time to make a ruling on the documents.

He said the concerns raised by the lawyer that the submissions from the State had no backing of the law could not stand because equally, his own submissions had no backing of the law.

Magistrate Mwenya adjourned the hearing to July 10, 2019 for ruling.

He extended Mudia’s bail.

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