Mzuzu Police have arrested Thamanda Pentecostal Church Pastor identified as Charles Gonani, 35, of Kadewere village in the area of traditional authority Lundu in Blantyre for personating a police detective based at Mzuzu Police Station and in the process defrauding unsuspecting job seeker’s money.
Confirming the ordeal to News Watch Reviews, Mzuzu Police Station public relations officer Martin Bwanali said the suspect was arrested on Wednesday.
“We can confirm that we have arrested the suspect, he is a pastor of Thamanda Pentecostal Church which congregates at Masasa location in Mzuzu city. He has been telling his church members that he is a police detective based at Mzuzu Police Station”, said Martin.
The police in the city said in May this year, the suspect proposed love to Loveness Manda and later on they started staying together at Masasa location as a family. All along his wife has been knowing him as a police officer and every morning the unsuspecting woman had been escorting the suspect to Mzuzu Police masquerading as he was reporting for duties, she was leaving him entering the main gate.
The woman further told the police that one day the Pastor fell ill, she then thought of informing his alleged authority at the station but was warned not to because their marriage was not a legitimate one according to Police regulations. As such once Police authorities knew he was illegally married it meant he would be dismissed.
“The same suspect in April this year intended to defraud Akimu Phiri K25,000.00 cash by falsely representing that he would help him to be a police officer”, said Bwanali.
So his arrest came after some of his church members enquired from Mzuzu Police if indeed the suspect was a police officer.
This prompted the police to start investigations which led to his arrest. He was found with a pack set used for wireless message and a khaki trouser resembling police uniform.
Some of the documents found in his possession led to trace the false deal he made with Akimu Phiri.
It is suspected that the pastor has defrauded many other people and Police are calling for the victims to come forward and report to the police.
Pastor Charles Gomani will appear in court soon to answer two criminal charges of personating a person employed in the public service and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to sections 99(b) and 319(1) of the Penal Code respectively.