Gumbura too sick to stand trial

HARARE - The trial of jailed Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura on a fresh rape charge has been deferred again because he is not physically fit to stand trial.

An argument erupted yesterday between State lawyers and Gumbura’s defence attorney Rekai Maposa at the commencement of court proceedings after prosecutor Kudzai Chigwedere said they had noted irregularities on the medical document.

Chigwedere said letters of such nature were supposed to be signed and authorised by the officer-in-charge of Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS).

The letter said Gumbura cannot stand trial because of diarrhoea and influenza.

Gumbura’s lawyer blasted the State for disowning and disputing its own documents.

“It’s the same State who advised me of accused person’s condition and gave me the same document that they are disputing,” Maposa said.

“State disputing and disowning its own documents raises some eye brows, unless they are saying Gumbura forged the said documents. But he is not in a position to do so while in custody.”

The State led evidence from superintendent Takaruza from ZPCS who admitted to signing the letter on behalf of the officer-in-charge.

Maposa said the superintendent was “sacrificing the rights of accused person in order to dance to to the tune of the officer-in-charge.”

Takaruza was not medically qualified to dispute Gumbura’s condition, Maposa said.

Meanwhile, Gumbura told the court that he could not stand trial because he had a headache, chest pains, diarrhoea, back ache, vomiting and dizziness.

“I am in no position to stand this trial,” Gumbura said.

“I can’t go for an hour before visiting the toilet. This bench is actually killing my back.”

Harare magistrate Fadzai Mtombeni postponed the matter to April 10 for continuation.

According to State papers, Gumbura raped the 26-year old woman at his house in 2009.

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