A ZIMBABWE Assemblies of God Africa (Zaoga) secretary has been taken to court to answer allegations of embezzling church offerings amounting to $7 000.
Tobias Manikwa (39) pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Sharon Rosemani facing theft charges on Friday.
For the State, Takunda Ndovorwi told the court that Manikwa kept keys to the church’s offices, including safe keys.
On June 20 at around 6pm, Manikwa was said to have knocked off duty, but hatched a plan to return and steal money in the safe.
The State said Manikwa returned to the office that night and unlocked the main front door and his office where the safe was kept. He allegedly unlocked the safe and took $7 053.
He then allegedly went to the police that very night and made a false report that there had been a break-in at the church offices and all cash kept in the safe had been stolen.
However, police investigations noted that the safe was intact and there were no signs of forced entry.
The church’s pastor told police that they only had one key for the safe and it had been kept by Manikwa ever since he started working for the church.
Manikwa was arrested three days later after church members provided the police with evidence linking him to the theft.
Nothing was recovered.
Manikwa was granted $200 bail on condition that he surrenders title deeds for his house to the clerk of court.
The trial continues on July 10.