Witness Mutsvunguma (29) of Nketa 9 suburb asked a caretaker, Francis Chinyere, to open the church doors for him so he could pray the whole night.
A court heard Mutsvunguma woke the caretaker three hours later, after stealing the machines and loading them into his car.
He appeared before Western Commonage Magistrate Ms Tancy Dube charged with theft.
He pleaded guilty and was remanded to today for sentence.
Mutsvunguma runs a shop at Trust House building along 14th Avenue.
“I did it. I just wanted to boost my business at my Trust house shop. I wanted to increase operating capacity,” said Mutsvunguma.
Visibly annoyed, Magistrate Dube lashed at Mutsvunguma for stealing from a place of worship.
Said Magistrate Dube: “You got there pretending to be a prayer warrior, you thief! What kind of a person steals from church? Their church.”
Mutsvunguma apologized to the court and claimed to be a changed man. However, the magistrate cut him short, saying he was only sorry because he had been caught.
“You lie. You are not sorry. You have a shop, you have your machines. But you steal, from a church, where you fellowship. Come back tomorrow for sentence. I want you to go home and reflect on what you have done,” said the magistrate.
Prosecuting, Mr Mufaro Mageza said Mutsvunguma went to church pretending he wanted to hold a prayer session on September 1.
“The accused approached the complainant, Mr Francis Chinyere, who is the caretaker of ZAOGA Nketa 9 branch, asking to have a prayer session. The complainant unlocked the doors for him and went back to sleep in his house, leaving the accused praying in church,” said the prosecutor.
“The accused then stole a heavy duty overlocking machine and a heavy duty sewing machine, which were in the church. He locked them up in a motor vehicle and took them to his brother’s house in Tshabalala.”
The court heard Mutsvunguma returned to the church, woke Mr Chinyere and informed him that he was leaving.
The caretaker locked the church doors.
The matter came to light three days later when Mr Chinyere discovered the machines were missing.
Investigations led to the arrest of the “prayer warrior” and recovery of the machines, valued $600.