Gumbura guards' trial opens

HARARE - The trial of Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura’s security guards, who denied police entry into his house, opened yesterday.

Simbarashe Musiyiwa and Tendai Mandevani, both aged 35, are facing charges of obstructing the course of justice.

The police officers were barred from entering the residence during investigations last year.

Gumbura is currently serving a 40-year prison term after he was convicted by Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya on four counts of rape.

Trial in the matter opened yesterday with State prosecutor Nyikadzino Machingura leading evidence from Johannes Mudzingwa — who was part of the team of police officers that probed Gumbura in October last year.

During trial, Mudzingwa emphasised that the offence was committed on March 13 last year, contrary to the State’s date of October 13.

He said Gumbura’s guards denied them access because they had been instructed by their boss not to allow anyone into the premises.

Mudzingwa said they could not jump over the perimeter wall, which they said was too high.

The defence lawyer asked Mudzingwa to produce an identity card that proved he was a police officer, and he produced a neighbourhood watch ID.

Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba remanded the matter to March 28 for trial continuation.

Machingura alleges that on October 13 last year, a police officer who was on duty went to Gumbura’s house at number 6 Helena Close in Marlborough with the intention of arresting Gumbura on rape charges.

He identified himself on arrival at the house but Musiyiwa and Mandevani denied him entry, thereby obstructing him from executing his duties.

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