Gumbura seeks new lawyer

HARARE - Robert Martin Gumbura, the incarcerated Independent End Time Message founder, has sought the services of a new lawyer, prompting High Court judges to yesterday postpone hearing his appeal indefinitely.

Gumbura is currently serving a 40-year prison term after being convicted by Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya on four counts of raping female congregants and contravening the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act.

He filed an appeal at the High Court challenging both his conviction and sentence.

But the matter could not be heard yesterday after Gumbura sought the services of another lawyer, Tapson Dzvetero.

Gumbura was initially represented by Rekayi Maposa and Thembinkosi Magwaliba.

The judges yesterday asked Dzvetero to file his assumption of agency and directed him to advise Gumbura’s erstwhile lawyers to file a renouncement of agency.

Pending the determination of his main appeal, Gumbura applied for bail at the High Court, a request which was dismissed, prompting him to make another failed Supreme Court petition.

Gumbura argues in his appeal that the magistrate misdirected himself when he found him guilty.

He claims the witnesses were not credible.

“It is clear that the magistrate’s finding that the complainants were credible is plainly wrong,” he argued.

“The honourable magistrate simply took lock, stock and barrel of the narrative of the complainants, discarding the explanation given by the appellant and the probabilities.”

He said the magistrate did not critically examine the allegations raised by the complainants.

“In this regard, the magistrate was regrettably swayed by non-legal considerations and passed a moral judgment,” he argued.

“Most fundamentally, the honourable court was obligated to critically examine each allegation of sex in the surrounding circumstances.

“The judgment of the magistrates’ court cannot withstand scrutiny on appeal.”

Prosecutor Editor Mavuto opposed Gumbura’s application, but is still to file a detailed response.

During Gumbura’s bail application, Mavuto told the court that the controversial pastor had no prospects of success on appeal.


Comments (1)

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