Lusaka magistrate Mary Chibanga has convicted and sentenced a prophet to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for swindling a 23-year-old woman of K10,170 on pretext that he would bring her dead husband back to life.

Angel Sakala was accused of swindling Beatrice Kasonde by promising to resurrect her husband, Kennedy Malawo.

When the matter came up for judgment yesterday, magistrate Chibanga said the state had proved the case against Sakala beyond reasonable doubt.

“Those who claim to be prophets must not take advantage of people who have got so many problems. A true missionary or servant of God will do good without expecting anything in return,” magistrate Chibanga said.

“I need to send a warning by giving you a custodial sentence as a message of deterrence. It is unfortunate that people are allowing themselves to be swindled. As communities, people must take precaution to avoid this. There are too many false prophets out there.”

In August, there was laughter in court when Beatrice narrated her ordeal.

Beatrice told magistrate Chibanga that Sakala whom she was referring to as “Papa” demanded for money for every step he took in performing the act of bringing back her hubby whom he claimed died mysteriously.

The witness said papa demanded K500 for booking him and another K500 for booking and transporting the police officers who were going to pick up Kasonde’s husband when he got back to life.

She said before that she was made to pay K20 consultation fee.

Beatrice further narrated that Papa again asked for K300 for buying police officers beer as they were going to do a difficult task of picking her husband from the graveyard.

“He again requested for a K50 for documents,” Kasonde narrated.

She testified that after praying against the nightmares of her late husband, Papa Angel told her that he had communicated with her husband and directed him to go to Kunda in Ndola.

“Papa Angel again demanded for another K1000 for transport to Ndola to pick him up, and another k500 for a blue stone in which he was supposed to be washed,” she explained.

Kasonde said the prophet again asked for K700 for sowing a seed so that evil spirits could stop following her risen husband.

She said Papa asked her not to shave her private parts until her husband came back and added that during the talk, he requested for K400 which she gave him.