Thieves target churches

Thieves here have been stealing valuables from members of the congregation during church services.

Thieves have been taking advantage of church members throughout the capital.
Thieves have been taking advantage of church members throughout the capital.

Pastor Berry Dambaza of Upper Room Ministries, a local Pentecostal
church, told The Zimbabwean that they were forced to tighten security
during their services.

“We had a serious problem a few years ago. At one point we
set a trap and we were surprised that it was a respected member of the
church who was responsible for the thefts. She used her children to
steal handbags and cell phones in the church,” he said.

After police arrested the suspect, she left the church.

“In another
case a parishioner directed a child to collect a handbag that belonged
to another, saying it was hers,” Dambaza said.
 “We have had a lot of these cases and it appears our
church is being targeted.”

There are fears that gangs are targeting church services across the city. “This is
particularly disturbing because there could be a syndicate operating
in the area,” said a local policeman.

“Earlier this year, we recovered some stolen items and among them was a phone which we traced to a church in Westgate. The owner
confirmed that the phone had been stolen during a service.”

Similar reports of theft have been
reported at a mosque in Mbare. As a requirement, Muslims
take off their shoes and leave them outside the mosque during their

“We had to hire a security guard to look after our shoes because once we came out and found them all gone,” said Aisha Doubt, a Muslim parishioner.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba
said it was up to the churches to report these cases to the authorities
. However, one pastor blamed the police for showing a
lack of interest in the thefts.

“Our congregants must realise that a church is a public venue and not
everybody who comes to church is a saint,” said the pastor.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *