Court postpones Gumbura's trial on fresh rape charges

HARARE - The trial of jailed Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura on a fresh rape charge has been postponed to July 1 because the presiding magistrate is going on leave.

Harare magistrate Fadzai Mtombeni announced that the courts would deal with the matter from July 1 to 3 when she returns from leave.

State prosecutor Kudzai Chigwedere has so far led evidence from one witness — the 26-year-old woman allegedly raped by Gumbura.

Trial proceedings were being held in camera after the State insisted that it was not in the witnesses’ best interests to have the matter heard before a full court.

Gumbura, currently serving a 40-year jail term for five other rape counts, is jointly charged with his secretary Tendai Ganyani in the fresh charge.

Through his advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba, Gumbura denied the rape charge, saying he was falsely accused.

He said the woman was being persuaded to press the charges by her ex-boyfriend who is also a congregant of Godwin Chitsinde’s church — Gumbura’s rival.

“Accused person was falsely implicated for various political and moral reasons,” Advocate Magwaliba said. “His case has attracted the attention of various politicians and organisations.

“The complainant lived at his house as a concubine and had consensual sexual intercourse with accused person. She is bitter that accused person ended the relationship with her when he realised she was having an affair because he feared complainant would expose him and his wives to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.”

Prosecutor Kudzai Chigwedere said Gumbura took advantage of the woman, who had been left in his care by her parents.

According to State papers, Gumbura started staying with the woman at his house in 2009 after forging an agreement with her parents.

It is alleged that the 57-year-old pastor literally adopted the woman as his child and was responsible for her school fees and general upkeep.

The court heard that in 2009, the woman was summoned by Ganyani to Gumbura’s office.

Upon arrival, Ganyani went out and locked the door from outside, leaving her in Gumbura’s company.

Gumbura allegedly raped the woman, before threatening to curse her if ever she reported the matter. After the incident, the court heard that Gumbura phoned Ganyani to return to the office and unlock the door.

 

Comments (1)

Gumbura went against just about all the ten commandments and should rightfully rot in jail before meeting his maker who will throw him into the eternal burning fires of hell.

Dr Know - 12 May 2014

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