Gumbura's fresh rape trial continues

HARARE - The trial of jailed Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura on a fresh rape charge continued yesterday with the State leading its second witness, the complainant’s uncle.

Francis Phiri, who lived with the woman sometime in 2009, frustrated the trial as he could not give detailed answers to any of the State or defence counsel’s questions.

Phiri either answered that he was not sure, could not remember or did not know about circumstances leading to the complainant’s alleged rape incident.

He only recalled a certain incident when he went to Gumbura’s residence to collect the complainant after spending the whole day away from the home.

“I stayed with complainant around December 2009 after her parents’ death,” Phiri said. “I took her from a Chitungwiza home where she had sought employment as a domestic worker. On the day that I met accused person, the complainant had left my residence in the company of my nine-year-old son.

“I became worried because they had not returned by 5pm and started looking for them. I called Nyaude who told me that they had gone to church before I proceeded to Gumbura’s residence.”

Phiri said he faced resistance from Gumbura’s guards and was later allowed into the premises after his son identified him.

He testified that he later discovered that his son and the complainant had been kept at the residence against their will after being forced into a motor vehicle by a pastor from Gumbura’s church.

Gumbura’s lawyer, advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba, argued that the complainant was aged 24 in 2009 and could make her own decisions.

“You claim that you are a caring uncle but you are not even aware of your niece’s age, movements or educational level at the time you started staying with her,” he said.

“On the day in question, I believe that she chose not to communicate with you because she did not find it necessary.”

Prosecutor Kudzai Chigwedere 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 Tendai Ganyani (Gumbura’s secretary) 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 she ever reported the matter. After the incident, the court heard that Gumbura phoned Ganyani to return to the office and unlock the door.

Comments (2)

Kana vanhu vatsamwa vanouraya hama dzangu. Zviri kuitwa Gumbura ihasha chete dzavanhu. Murume arikufira mafufu segonzo. Murume arikufira kusaroora vakadzi ava.

ANGER - 2 July 2014

the narration is absurd. gumbura could not have wanted to sex this girl that much. its sounds just unrealistic.

gwabu - 2 July 2014

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