Couple jailed 30 months after duping man into false marriage in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Aug. 23 — A Harare couple which played brother and sister
with the husband “marrying off” the wife to an unsuspecting suitor for a
bride price of 3,000 U.S. dollars has been jailed for 30 months each.

Brian Nkatazo Mathe (30) and wife Stephanie Pullen (20), both from the
high-density suburb of Mbare, opened a Facebook account in February which
they used to lure 56-year-old Nyakanyaka Msipani into a false love
relationship which culminated in the perceived marriage,The Herald reported
Wednesday. Magistrate Victoria Mashamba suspended a year each on their
jail terms for five years on condition of good behavior and another six
months on condition that they restitute Msipani 4,029 dollars. After
opening the Facebook account and hooking up with Msipani, Pullen introduced
her husband Mathe as a brother and said that the bride price should be paid
to him since their parents were dead.

Msipani paid 3,000 dollars with Mathe presiding over the marriage ceremony
and said he would accompany Pullen to his residence after two weeks. The
love-struck Msipani received a call from Mathe just before the two weeks
lapsed and was told that Pullen needed urgent medical assistance and caused
him to pay more money for medical bills and groceries before they
disappeared. Msipani later met Mathe in town and caused his arrest. In
passing sentence, magistrate Mashamba said the couple deserved a custodial
sentence.”You have looked down upon the marriage institution. They caused
emotional and psychological stress to the complainant who believed that he
was getting married,” she said. – XINHUA