A Zimbabwean Seventh Day Adventists pastor has been jailed in Angola for kidnapping. He was jailed along with four other pastors of the same church.

But according to Maka, an Angolan newspaper, the five were sentenced to prison terms ranging between three and five years, without being charged or going for trial on December 29, last year.

Pastor Burns Sibanda from Bulawayo and his Zambian colleague Passmore Hachalinga were each sentenced to three years and six months.

“African missionaries, Burns Musa Sibanda from Zimbabwe who was serving as chief finance officer and his colleague Passmore Hachalinga from Zambia were both working for the church in Angola. Judge Antonio Francisco sentenced the pair to three years and six months each month for allegedly kidnapping another pastor.

Zimbabwe West Union Conference president Pastor Micah Choga confirmed that Sibanda is imprisoned in Angola.

“I can only confirm that he is jailed in Angola as I am waiting for the next high office for exact details of what is happening on the ground,” he said.

In a statement, the SDA church leadership in Southern Africa, the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID), said an appeal against both the conviction and sentence has been lodged.