MWENEZI - A 31-year-old former employee to Pastor Julius Chimbi of the Covenant Faith Ministry who was standing trail for assaulting the pastor and his wife after they allegedly refused to pay the money they owed him was last week set free by the Mwenezi Magistrate Court after Chimbi's wife, who had laid charges, withdrew the case.
Magistrate Honest Musiiwa freed Emmanuel Masendeke of Chaka village under Chief Gutuza in Chirumanzu after the complaint, Beauty Chakwesha, a teacher at Chingami Primary School in Mwenezi, withdrew the case to pursue an out of court settlement.
Giving evidence in court earlier on, Masendeke had said he was being framed by the pastor whom he said suspected that he was having an affair with his wife.
The State, led by prosecutor Willard Chasi, alleged that on March 17, 2017 at around 16:00 hrs, Masendeke approached Chakwesha and Chimbi at Chingami Primary School and asked that he be refunded his money that he had used to buy fuel for the couple's kombi when he still worked as their conductor.
A misunderstanding then followed, leading to the assault which both Chimbi and Chakwesha confirmed in court.
Sources told TellZim News that Chakwesha and Masendeke were forced to settle for an out of court settlement after pressure from within the church.
"Church leaders from as far as Masvingo advised both parties to settle for an out of court settlement.
This was to save the reputation of the pastor and the church after the matter attracted a lot of unnecessary media attention.
Masendeke apologised to the pastor and his wife for what he did," said a source.local