10383950_637518222992318_1086096894271456773_n A suspected thief who posed as a genuine congregant and stole various items from unsuspecting church members of two apostolic sects was beaten to a pulp, leaving him with a broken arm, a magistrate has heard.

The suspect, Chrispen Muchanyo, denied the theft charges when he appeared before magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba on Tuesday.

Muchanyo told the court in his defence that on the fateful day, on August 14 this year, he visited the Gaririya Apostolic shrine near Mazai Infill in Kadoma to seek divine intervention over an undisclosed problem.

During the meeting, he said he was shocked when some of the congregants turned against him and pummeled him after they labelled him a “thief”.

Muchanyo showed the court a broken left arm which was visibly swollen, saying he had been denied treatment by prison warders.

The court granted him free bail so he could seek treatment for the fractured arm before returning to the same court for ruling yesterday.

However, the court was yesterday forced to issue a warrant of arrest against Muchanyo after he failed to attend court.

The State allegations were that Muchanyo, who went to the shrine clad in Vapostori white robes, took advantage of the darkness and secretly pounced on a bag belonging to Langton Tom and stole two mobile phones, various clothing items and $50 cash and vanished into the night.

The following day, he went back to the shrine, but was allegedly caught red-handed stealing.

He allegedly fled the scene, but the sect members gave chase and handed him over to the police.

All the stolen property was recovered and positively identified by the owners.

Herbert Ngezimani prosecuted.