State wants Gumbura jailed 100 years

HARARE - Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura was yesterday convicted on four counts of rape, capping an intriguing trial in which the spiritual leader’s “disgusting” actions were brought to the fore.

With 11 wives and 30 children, Gumbura’s trial hogged the headlines following multiple rape allegations reported against him by several members of his flock.

He faced nine counts of rape and another of contravening the Censorship Act, after he was found in possession of several pornographic materials.

Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya yesterday found Gumbura guilty on four rape counts and for contravening the Censorship Act.

For a man who has been in the gospel ministry for the past 35 years, his dreams of having 100 children has been shattered, leaving behind a bevy of beautiful women.

At least he made some investments, comprising 10 houses, $20 000 in offshore accounts and 12 cars, as stated by his lawyer in mitigation.

Right up to his judgment yesterday, Gumbura staunchly denied the allegations. He said he was persecuted for being a “Good Samaritan”.

But, the witnesses told the court that he abused them, adding that they failed to report the matter to the police on time, because they feared to be placed in the “hands of Satan”.

While prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi urged the court to sentence Gumbura to at least 100 years in prison for the four counts, his lawyer Rekai Maposa pleaded for the court’s lenience.

Murombedzi said Gumbura committed a serious offence, which humiliated and degraded the victims’ humility and right to privacy.

“Accused person’s moral blameworthiness is very high. He preyed on the flock that he was supposed to shepherd. He took his congregants as sex objects,” Murombedzi said.

He said Gumbura took advantage of the underprivileged orphans, pretending to be a “Good Samaritan”, adding that the 57-year-old pastor was selfish.

Murombedzi said Gumbura took church women as his personal property, after claims that all women in his church belonged to him and he would “loan” them to other men. 

Maposa said her client was the sole breadwinner, who has school-going children and caters for their welfare.

She said Gumbura also takes care of orphans, further claiming that some of the victims were beneficiaries of his philanthropy.

Prior to yesterday’s verdict, Mujaya had postponed the ruling twice before, following his request to inspect the controversial pastor’s home on January 8.

He also deferred the matter last Friday, saying the ruling was not yet ready.

He said he found it necessary to inspect the crime scene before passing his ruling, following claims that the premises were heavily-guarded.

Mujaya said the videos recovered from Gumbura’s briefcase were “grossly offensive”, adding that as a pastor, his behaviour was deplorable.

He, however, said from the evidence proffered in court, there was proof of animosity between Gumbura and Spoken Word Ministries pastor Godwin Chitsinde.

He said because of that, Chitsinde’s evidence was supposed to be taken with a pinch of salt.

“If the witnesses genuinely believed that he had the capability to place them in the hands of Satan and that accused knew that the people believed him, then his evidence is untenable,” Mujaya said.

Mujaya postponed the matter to Monday, when he is expected to deliver his sentence.

Meanwhile, High Court judge Esther Muremba dismissed Gumbura’s bail application last Monday, filed in respect of another rape charge reported by a South Africa-based woman.

Trial in the matter begins on March 31.

Comments (3)

If this demented pervert gets only 100 years in jail I for one will be very disappointed. I mean, this monster was preying on vulnerable women in a church setting for Pete's sake!!!

Mercy - 2 February 2014

Queen Bunga was also an accomplice

kokorigo - 3 February 2014

Vakadzi vedu vonamatira kupi kwasingaitwe abused?. ZIMRA sholud visit to verify if everything in his possesion were done above the board.

bob - 3 February 2014

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