A Masvingo pastor was last week convicted for defrauding colleagues of more than 90 residential stands made available by the Ministry of Local Government Rural and Urban Development.

A local court heard that Rivers of Life Fellowship Church pastor Muneyi Mbonya, 41, converted to his own use 97 residential stands worth about $349,000 meant for Masvingo Ministers’ Fraternal group.

Mbonya appeared before magistrate Lyn Manyika charged with fraud and was sentenced to eight months in prison which was wholly suspended on condition he pays a $200 fine.

Prosecutor Fedelis Nyamukondiwa told the court that in June 2012, Mbonya, acting with Enias Manzonzo who was the chairman of the Fraternal, applied for residential stands at the local government ministry on behalf of the association’s members.

The court heard that in September of the same year, the ministry allocated the group 97 residential stands in the suburb of Victoria Ranch.

Mbonya, as the treasurer of the association, collected the offer later but did not hand it over or disclose to the Fraternal that they had been allocated residential stands.

The fraud came to light after some members of the Fraternal made another application to the ministry only to be told that the association had already been given stands through Mbonya.

The members approached Mbonya who he failed to explain himself and a report was to the police made leading to his arrest.