Church Leader Dupes People With Disabilities
26 July 2021

A bishop and founder of the International Bibleway Church in Sizinda suburb in Bulawayo is at the centre of a messy fraud storm after he allegedly duped two people with disabilities of their money.

He reportedly took advantage of their vulnerability and coerced them to form an organisation claiming they were going to get donations from the UK and United States of America.

Jebson Shoko from Buena Vista suburb allegedly hoodwinked Zifa Moyo (57) and Claudious Shumba (43), both with disabilities and registered Zimbabwe Disabled Persons Trust (ZDPT) in which he is the founder and the first trustee, with Moyo and Shumba being the first and second trustees respectively.

It is alleged that he swindled them US$400 and US$600 respectively after he lied to them that he wanted money to start a chicken rearing project, import duty for cars sent to them from America by donors and money to register their disabled people’s organisation as a Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) so that anything that would be sent to them by donors would be duty-free.

Shoko’s alleged worst kind of theft came to light after Moyo and Shumba approached Bulawayo’s Small Claims Court suing him.

In their papers B-Metro is in possession of, Moyo and Shumba claimed they decided to take the legal route fearing that the man of the cloth would go around defrauding many people using the name of the organisation and they would be answerable as trustees.

This was also after Shoko refused to sign their resignation letters from the organisation.

“Plaintiff claim a total of US$600 plus R35 which was taken on three occasions. Firstly, the defendant proposed a chicken rearing project in March 2020 thereby he demanded contributions from the plaintiff.

Secondly the defendant claimed that the plaintiff was sent a car from America so he took money claiming it’s for import duty and clearance and thirdly the defendant took money from the plaintiff claiming he wanted to register their disabled organisation as a Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO),” Moyo’s suit reads in part.

Moyo’s circumstances were similar to those of Shumba’s in which he is claiming US$400 and $ 1100 from Bishop Shoko.

In their founding affidavits the duo claimed Bishop Shoko met Shumba sometime in January 2020, at an all-stakeholders meeting in Sizinda and told him they should open an organisation for people with disabilities, claiming they were going to get assistance from donors in the UK and America.

Shumba reportedly went and told Moyo who then agreed to the decision and on 18 February 2020 the trio registered a Trust, Zimbabwe Disabled People’s Trust in which all the three are on the board of trustees. They reportedly recruited other people with disabilities and formed a national committee.

“On 28 February 2020, he invited us to his church saying that the so-called donors had come to see us. With other committee members we went there and we were introduced to the six donors, three were said to be from America and the other three from the UK. We thought we would have time to discuss with the so-called donors but it never happened. We later realised that the donors had come for his church only not for us.”

It is alleged that sometime in March 2020 after the so-called donors had gone back, Shoko approached the duo claiming that the donors had told him that they would support them if they were also doing their own projects. So, he suggested a chicken rearing project in which the three agreed to contribute US$20 each to purchase the chicks.

Later on, Shoko demanded money from the victim claiming he wanted to buy chicken feeds and he was reportedly given.

It is reported that sometime in April 2020, while they were still thinking the chicken rearing project was going on, the Bishop again approached the two and told them that the donors had sent them cars from America and he demanded US$500 from each of them saying it was for customs duty for the cars.- B-Metro