Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa (photo:M. Chibaya).

Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa (photo:M. Chibaya).

A pastor,who was recently convicted of dealing in gold without a licence and had been mentioned as belonging to Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family International Church, has said he does not have any links with the popular church.

James Mwarira (25) was arrested at a jewellery shop along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue with nine grammes of gold worth US$429,26 wrapped in a Zimbabwe bearer’s cheque note.

Initially, the State papers stated that Mwarira was a pastor with UFIC, but his lawyer Victor Zvobgo of Ngarava and Associates yesterday cleared the air in court during mitigation. He said Mwarira was in fact a pastor with Jubilee Ministries.

“Your worship, there is a lot of confusion as regards to my client. May it be put on record that my client does not belong to UFI,” he said.

In mitigation, Mwarira produced payslips to prove that he was employed by a local mine which authorised him to be in possession of the gold.

Magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma remanded him to July 8 for sentencing after the State led by Ms Francesca Mukumbiri requested for some time to verify the authenticity of the papers.

On June 10, Detective Sergeant Munouya, Detective Constable Walaza and Detective Constable Mavhene from Harare Minerals Unit were on patrol and received information that Mwarira was dealing in gold at FM Jewellery.

It is the State’s case that upon arrival at the shop situated at the corner of Kwame Nkrumah and Kaguvi streets, the police officers identified themselves.

They informed Mwarira that they wanted to search him and he complied. The search was by Det Const Walaza and Det Const Mavhene, while Det Sgt Munouya watched.

Det Const Mavhene recovered a suspected gold button wrapped in a 50 billion Zimbabwe bearers’ cheque note which was stashed in a small zipped compartment in Mwarira’s wallet.

When asked to produce authorisation to deal or be in possession of the gold, Mwarira failed to do so, resulting in his arrest.

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