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Published On: Sun, Sep 18th, 2016

Drunk Man burns down church

A DRUNKARD got beaten up by Zion church pastors after burning their church and he avenged the beating by striking a church member with an axe.

Eliphas Ncube of Sishowe village appeared at the Bulawayo magistrates court before magistrate Charity Maphosa on charges of malicious damage to property and assault.

Prosecuting, Jeremiah Mutsindikwa told the court that on 30 July 2016 at about 9pm Pastor Innocent Ncube was conducting a church service with other villagers including the accused’s wife when he arrived.

Ncube disrupted the church service demanding to see his wife. After being stopped by other church members, he left and came back a few minutes later armed with an axe and okapi knife.

The accused threatened to kill Pastor Innocent Ncube and the church members all ran away leaving him at the scene.

He then took a burning log and set the church on fire, destroying everything in it to ashes.

He destroyed a hut valued at $500, a Bible $20, utensils $100, 12 blankets $180, church furniture (chairs, tables and bench) $100 and groceries worth $21.

After burning the church, the accused went on to a bedroom hut belonging to Ester Ndlovu, the owner of the homestead where the church was built, and used the same log to set the room on fire destroying property valued at $7 042 that included 12 blankets, 4 duvets, six suitcases containing clothes, utensils, two bicycles, two bags of cement and the room.

Upon realising that the accused had burnt the church and Ndlovu’s room, Pastor Ncube and another church leader, whose name was not mentioned are said to have lost their tempers and beat him up.

According to Mutsindikwa, the accused left the scene armed heading to his homestead. On his way he met Emily Mlalazi, a church member, who was heading to Zion church. As a way of vengeance and without saying anything, the accused struck Mlalazi once on the left shoulder and twice on the upper part of the left leg with the back of the axe he was carrying.

In his defence the accused said he did not remember meeting Mlalazi and hitting her with the back of an axe.

“Your worship, I went straight home after the incident I did not meet the lady. I was drunk but I do not remember meeting her,” he said.

Ncube was remanded in custody and will appear on 16 September for sentencing.