A Mutare woman, who last month sold a family residential stand without her husband’s consent for USD 20,000 and donated USD 6,000 to the church, was convicted of fraud. 

Martha Chiseko of the Celebration Church donated the money that she obtained from illegally selling a stand in one of Mutare’s opulent suburbs, Fairbridge Park, to one Tendai Dumbura.

Maseko was sentenced to 10 months in jail, wholly suspended on condition that she restitutes Dumbura USD 20,000 in the next two months.

The State led by prosecutor Walter Saunyama said Chiseko took advantage of the fact that her husband Panganai Kalongoma was away in South Africa and placed an advert in the press selling the stand without the husband’s consent.

Chiseko and Kalongoma jointly owned the stand. When the husband did not show up, Dumbura tracked Kalongoma in South Africa but he professed ignorance of the sale. “I asked him about the change of ownership and he professed ignorance of the matter. He said he had not given any permission to his wife to sell the stand,” said Dumbura. “I then approached Chiseko to reverse the deal but she refused resulting in me making a police report.”

Police recovered USD 6,000 from Celebration Church. The other USD10,000 was invested at Capital Base Savings and Credit Society, while the USD 4,000 was not recovered.