HARARE - Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura says he is a “good Samaritan” and a victim of church politics — dismissing rape allegations as a plot contrived by enemies to cause his downfall.
The pastor, who is facing multiple rape charges, yesterday told the court that the accusations were a blackmail attempt by Godwin Chitsinde from Spoken Word Ministries.
He said there was a “war” between him and Chitsinde, who supports monogamy as opposed to polygamy that Gumbura advocates for.
Gumbura, through his lawyers Rekayi Maposa and Emmanuel Samundombe, told the court that he was having love affairs with some of the women, while the others were influenced by Chitsinde to report rape charges against him.
With 11 wives and 30 children, Gumbura told the court that he used sex drugs that were found in his house to enhance his performance and satisfy his women.
He said pornographic items that were recovered in his house belonged to new congregants and were to be burnt during the church’s annual conference.
“These are malicious allegations meant to ensure his downfall,” Maposa said, adding that Gumbura was being persecuted for being a “good Samaritan”. Gumbura’s women yesterday came in full support of their husband, donning designer clothes and expensive necklaces.
The court was filled to the rafters, with some of the people failing to get space inside the courtroom as relatives, friends and church congregants followed the trial proceedings.
One of the witnesses (name withheld) gave a sensational encounter of what transpired leading to her alleged rape and abortion.
She said as church members, they treated Gumbura as a “god.” She further told the court how Gumbura raped her on several occasions, using Bible verses to justify his actions.
The woman said Gumbura told her that she could not wed without having sex with him.
“He said he wanted to have sex with me before I get married. He went on to give me a list of girls that he had sex with before their weddings,” the woman said.
The woman later fell pregnant but, Gumbura initially denied responsibility, the court heard.
He later asked the woman to abort, before taking her to doctor Musuka’s surgery.
The woman said that she went with Gumbura and his wife Chipo Mhlanga to doctor Musuka’s surgery, where the abortion was conducted.
According to prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi and Kudzai Chigwedere, Gumbura is facing 10 counts, involving rape and possessing pornography.