An adulterous Apostolic Faith Mission deacon Jonah Panganai has been suspended and fined US$3 000 after he allegedly forced himself on a church mate’s wife.

Deacon Panganai has since paid $900 out of the $3,000 fine he was ordered to pay his church mate, Peter Maisiri, for molesting his wife – Barbra Mhlanga. He is also said to have been suspended from executing any office work in church at least for the next six months.

The incident occurred at Panganai’s retail shop at Machongwe Business Centre in Chimanimani.

Maisiri explained: “It’s a long story. I was in South Africa for almost a year now where I am working. I know Jonah Panganai as a friend and a deacon at our church. I only came here about two weeks ago specifically to settle this matter. The whole thing started when my wife gave him 200 South African Rand to buy a tracksuit for our child as well as a bag. Panganai usually travels to South Africa on business tours.

“I’m told Panganai took long to bring the items until in February when he gave my wife the bag. Accordingly, my wife kept on making follow ups for the tracksuit, but he kept on giving flimsy excuses. This kept on going until my wife settled for a deal in which she would get a female top and bottom from Panganai’s shop in place of the tracksuit.

“On that particular day last month, Panganai is said to have referred my wife to the fitting room where he later followed and molested her. He forcefully shoved his tongue into my wife’s mouth while caressing her body. My wife did not expect this and when she got the chance, she escaped and went straight to a senior relative’s place to report the matter. The relative however, advised my wife not to report the matter to the police.”

The man said the issue was heard before a panel of local leaders who also included Chief Muusha’s emissary where Deacon Panganai was formally charged and pleaded guilty to molesting his church mate’s wife.

“I don’t believe Panganai had a chance to have s*x with my wife because if that had happened according to our culture, I would have vomited blood (kuhaza) when I went in bed with her after I came back. He just forced himself on my wife with the futile intention to sleep with her,” claimed Maisiri.

Interestingly, when Panganai was reached for comment, he maintained that he had an affair with Maisiri’s wife. The deacon added that he did not force himself on his friend’s wife, but instead she is the one who lured him.

“The truth of the matter is that I was in love with Maisiri’s wife. It was an affair. I know I was wrong and I even regret the fact that I succumbed to her temptations. She only coined the statements in order to save her marriage and for the sake of progress it is all good. I have since paid US$900 out of the US$3,000 they charged me at a hearing convened by local leaders. I did not sleep with her because I only saw her for a few times.

“Yes she tried by all means to create a situation that would be conducive for s*x, but somehow the whole thing was discovered before we could reach that far” said the deacon.

Maisiri’s wife, however, maintained that she was not in love with the deacon.

“I was not in love with him. He actually forced me to accept the top and bottom in place of the tracksuit that I wanted. If I had known I should have reported the matter to the police,” she said.