2014: Drama, tears in court

HARARE - The 2014 judicial year was nothing short of intriguing drama, as people from different religions, political backgrounds and musical upbringing had their fates with justice.

Drama-filled cases became the order of the day, beginning with the jailing of Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura for 40 years for raping church women. Gumbura was jailed in January this year.

The controversial pastor made headlines which built him a household name. His ambitions to have 100 children were dashed after Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya slapped him with a 50-year jail term before suspending 10 years on condition of good behaviour.

Gumbura, a man who compared himself to the biblical David, had 11 wives and 30 children, and still longed for more.

His, was a story of glory that ended in gloom. His insatiable desire for sex landed him behind bars, after several church women laid rape charges against him.

Some of the church women claimed the pastor was involved in sex orgies, while police officers recovered pornographic materials at his Marlborough house.

He denied the charges, claiming to be a Good Samaritan, suffering persecution.

He has since filed an appeal against the conviction and sentence, while the High Court dismissed his bail pending the hearing of the appeal.

Gumbura’s case set the tone for what became an interesting and dramatic year in the courts.

In May, Zimbabweans woke up to one of the most bizarre incidents ever involving members of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu, who attacked police officers, journalists and officials from the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) during a raid.

ACCZ intended to ban the church for unethical practices.

Allegations against the church members arose in May when an entourage led by ACCZ president Archbishop Johannes Ndanga, that included police officers and journalists, was beaten up by the sect members.

This was after Ndanga had read out a letter banning the church on allegations of abusing women and children. The congregants challenged the ACCZ leader to read his speech in Shona, claiming they were not familiar with the English language.

They continued interjecting prompting Ndanga to request the police officers to arrest one of the congregants.

The other congregants began singing an inciting song called Humambo hwepfumo neropa and the whole congregation rose and charged towards the Ndanga-led group.

Eleven of the 37 apostolic sect members who were arrested for the assaults have since been jailed for five years, while the other 26 were freed for lack of incriminating evidence.

The members have since lodged an appeal with the High Court.

After this incident, many thought they had seen and heard enough, but more was still to come during the middle of the year 2014.

In June, Edmund Kudzayi, The Sunday Mail editor was arrested on allegations that he was the brains behind a shadowy Facebook character Baba Jukwa, which was known for spilling Zanu PF inside stories.

Kudzayi was arrested together with his brother Phillip. They were both accused of insurgency, terrorism, banditry, sabotage and attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government.

The two were accused of trying to unseat a constitutionally-elected government in the run-up to last year’s general elections.

According to State papers, Edmund planned and organised with some of his accomplices calling themselves The Gunda Nleya Brigade and Zimbabwe Revolutionary Army to overthrow the government by “unleashing war’.

It is further alleged that Edmund posted articles on the Baba Jukwa Facebook page which reportedly encouraged rebellion against the government if the general elections were to be “rigged”.

Edmund allegedly created a Gmail account entitled babajukwa2013@gmail.com with Phillip and other accomplices.

They allegedly posted articles on the social networking platform to the effect that they had a Dare Rechimurenga in place and that a team was on the ground studying and monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe.

The brothers are still on remand, following the dismissal of their application to be freed pending the State’s efforts to carry out extra-territorial investigations.

They will be back in court in February next year.

Following the arrest of the Kudzayi brothers, another University of Zimbabwe student Romeo Musemburi was charged over the same allegations.

This year was not a good year for Sungura musician Alick Macheso, who has been in and out of the courts over his maintenance case.

The Sungura kingpin was dragged to court by his estranged wife Tafadzwa Mapako, who demanded $7 000 towards the upkeep of their two children.

He was eventually ordered to pay $750, which was subsequently reduced to $450.

While many thought that was enough for the musician, whose last album was criticised for lacking the usual vibe associated with his music, his family was embroiled in another drama.

His first daughter Sharon got married, but the marriage did not last more than two months. Sharon claimed her husband Kudakwashe Munetsi was physically abusing her, prompting her to file criminal charges against him.

There were accusations and counter accusations, leading to dirty linen being washed in public. Munetsi accused Macheso’s daughter of being possessed and of having a sexually transmitted disease.

Munetsi, however, eventually lost the battle, after he was fined $200 for domestic violence.

Sharon later filed for divorce at the High Court where the matter is still pending.

During the year 2014, Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walter Magaya was accused by a Harare man, Denford Mutashu of having an affair with his wife. The man filed a court application demanding $500 000 from Magaya in adultery damages.

He later withdrew the claim, before confessing before Magaya’s congregation at his Waterfalls church.

This year also saw the jailing of Pritchard Zimondi, who was accused of murdering his girlfriend, by stabbing her several times with a kitchen knife in Chitungwiza in 2012.

The much-awaited ruling was delivered two weeks ago, with family members claiming the 18-year jail term was too lenient.

The year could not just end without more drama on the political side.

Ousted Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association leader Jabulani Sibanda was last month arrested after accusing President Robert Mugabe of plotting a “bedroom coup” following claims that he was taking orders from his wife.

Allegations against Sibanda arose in October at Hebert Mine in Mutasa.

He allegedly delivered a lengthy speech alleging that Mugabe and his wife Grace were planning to topple former Vice President Joice Mujuru and replace her with the first lady.

He further said he was not prepared for such an arrangement because power is not “sexually transmitted”.

His case is still pending at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

    Comments (2)

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    Rodney - 31 December 2014


    Rodney - 31 December 2014

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