A 27-year-old Ugandan Herbalist has been convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing K46,000 from a Zambian woman who went to him seeking help in bringing back her lost lover.
In this matter, Kafeero Omar, a businessman from Uganda, was charged with one count of theft.
Particulars of the offence were that on September 11, last year, Omar stole K46,000, money belonging to Analisha Jere.
The matter came up before magistrate Nsunge Chanda yesterday for judgement.
According to the complainant’s testimony, Jere saw an advert on Facebook where Omar was advertising his services as an expert in healing diseases and bringing back boyfriends and lost husbands.
She said she got the number from the Facebook post and phoned Omar who gave her directions to his house in Chilenje.
Jere said when she went to Omar’s house, she was told to pay K500 as consultation fee, which she did.
She said she explained to Omar that she had differences with her boyfriend, whom she further described as her fiancée.
Jere said Omar prepared some charms and took her into a private room where he covered the windows with a blanket and started chanting to invoke his spiritual fathers.
She said after a moment, she was told to explained her problem to the spiritual fathers who were now believed to be in the room.
Jere said after concluding the spiritual procedures, she went home, adding that in the evening she indeed saw her boyfriend arrive to visit.
“I was very excited that the medication had worked,” she said.
Jere said when she informed her ‘papa’ that the medication had worked because the boyfriend was back, her papa told her to go back to Chilenje the following day.
She said when she went back to Chilenje, the herbalist told her that to keep her man, she needed to look for the material which would come through spirits from Tanzania, hence she needed to pay another K500.
Jere said she paid the money and indeed, she found the said material meant to keep the boyfriend, had been sent ‘spiritually’ from Tanzania the following day.
She said later on, they went back to the said private room and Omar called on the spiritual fathers again.
Jere said the spirits told her that she was a blessed lady and all the money that she had was supposed to be brought to the ‘papa’ so that it was prayed for.
“I refused that I had no money but Omar insisted that there was money somewhere, and that I should just take it to him so that it should be blessed,” she said.
Jere said when she went home, she thought about the discussion with her ‘papa’ as she had a K46,000 in her bedroom.
She said she later on gave in and called Omar that indeed she had K46,000 which she took to Chilenje to be blessed.
Jere said when she reached Chilenje the money was put in a trunk and Omar called on the spirits, adding that she was told to sing a song.
“I was told to sing a song that ‘fathers, fathers come’. When we sing that song, the fathers were coming,” she said.
Jere further told the court that the spirits guided that the money she had brought should remain in the trunk to be blessed.
She said when she went to get the money the following day, Omar told her that the fathers had instructed her that the money was not yet blessed and should wait.
Jere said on the third day when she went to get her money back, she found that her papa had shifted with her K46,000 and the phone was switched off.
She said she reported the matter to Northmead police station and officers started investigating the matter, until the accused was apprehended.
In his defence, Omar told the court that he was a foreigner but married to a Zambian woman who was pregnant at the time of his arrest.
He agreed that Jere was his client and that he worked hard with his medication to help her bring the boyfriend back.
Omar informed the court that he was a true prophet and could perform miracles, and could show the court those miracles only that the medicine was left as home.
He denied stealing the K46,000 but agreed that he was calling upon the forefathers to help him admit her medication.
Omar said he shifted from the house because he found a cheaper one of K2,000.
However, magistrate Chanda convicted Omar upon finding that the State had proved its case against him beyond reasonable doubt.
“It is true from the evidence before me that Jere indeed gave Omar the money and Omar used some tricks to steal from her. I find that the accused person indeed stole the money, I find him guilty of the offence and I convict him accordingly,” she said.
“If you are an herbalist, then you have to perform according to whatever certificate you have so that people pay you for the services and not to swindle citizens. I will give you a custodial sentence to deter other friends of yours who enter this country to come and rob people in Zambia. I sentence you to five years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from date of arrest,” she ruled.