Pastor jailed 8 months for maintenance arrears

MUTARE  -  A Pentecostal church pastor, who suspended from church over an alimony row with his ex-wife, has been jailed eight months over $1 250 maintenance arrears.

Itai Anderson Gutukunhuwa, 30, of Zore International Ministries, was convicted on his own plea of guilt by magistrate Innocent Bepura.

He was charged for failure to pay maintenance as defined in section 23 of the Maintenance Act chapter 05:09.

Gutukunhuwa will, however, be released upon payment of $700 but could be returned to prison for a four-month jail stint if he fails to settle the remaining $550 by August 30.

Prosecuting Fletcher Karombe informed the court that Brenda Mutepfa, 30, had a maintenance order given against Gutukunhuhwa on October 27, 2016 at Mutare Civil Court.

The preacher was ordered to pay $250 with effect from November 27 but he went on to default payment from January 2017 to May 2017, resulting in a debt of $1 250.

When he was asked why he was failing to pay maintenance, he told the court that he was suspended from his job.

“Your worship, I was once a pastor for Zore International Ministries. When this issue was taken to court last year, I then was suspended from my duty because of this maintenance war with my ex-wife.

“From then onwards, I have been struggling to make ends meet,” he said

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