Gumbura behind Chikurubi riot: VP

HARARE - In a stunning pronouncement, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed that convicted rapist — Martin Gumbura — led the deadly riots that rocked Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison last week which left at least five people dead.

Mnangagwa told Parliament yesterday that the clergyman was allegedly the ringleader of the group that caused the disturbances that sent shock waves around the country.

“From what we have got, I can say that the incidents started in a section where Gumbura is housed and we are reliably informed that he chaired the conspiracy to break out,” Mnangagwa, who is also Justice minister, said.

He said about 100 prisoners had conspired to break out of prison, adding that the prisoners opted to use the unavailability of meat at the prison as a pretext for the disturbances.

“The report that I am giving is what transpired. Measures have since been taken to tighten security at the facility,” he said.

Currently 11 people — three prison officials and eight prisoners from Chikurubi Maximum Prison — are said to be battling for their lives after the mutiny.

According to Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) spokesperson Elizabeth Banda, the violence started after the inmates were served sadza and vegetables.

Although prison breaks have been few and far between in Zimbabwe, one of the most talked about involved notorious armed robbers Steven Chidhumo and Edgar Masendeke.

There have been concerns over the years about the deteriorating quality of food prisoners get, as well as other welfare issues affecting many of Zimbabwe’s correctional facilities.

Civic organisations have also raised the red flag about alleged prisoner rights abuses, including access to health care, clothing and proper legal representation.

The Independent End Time Message Church founder, Gumbura, was jailed for 40 years last year following his conviction on four counts of rape and contravention of the Censorship Act.

Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya sentenced the 57-year-old former pastor to 15 years in prison on the first two counts of rape, while he got 10 years on the other two counts.

From the total of 50 years, Mujaya suspended 10 years on condition of Gumbura’s good behaviour.

A further four months, which are to run concurrently with the 40-year prison term, were added on a charge of possession of pornographic material.

Comments (9)

I think the journalistic fraternity owes a well researched story of who exactly is Martin Gumbura. I'm begining to smell a rat here ,the circumstances behind his arrest are begining to look more and more like a hatchet job...wont be the first time the state has used sex as a means to an end! Mnangangwa you are lying period!

Mazana Mambombo - 19 March 2015

Mr VP Sir stop commenting on these issues. This is a job for your senior officers, you are fast losing respect as a result of your unintelligent comments,

Garikayi - 19 March 2015

america, Mujuru na Gumbura havaite kani. Vapei sadza neoil, or Emmerson jst shoot to kill mhani. Sh**t vp>

Nonagenarian - 19 March 2015

if the minister responsible for the department is questioned for answering questions in parliament i wonder who should do the answering. ministers should inform us what is happening to society under their jurisdiction lets desist from being used by the devil to destroy our country.

dambamba - 19 March 2015

yaaah martin gumbura has proved his true colours. I thought him as a pastor should be able to counsel others in the prison, but his behaviour is unacceptable unless people are just circulating nonsensical rumours about what transpared at chikurubi. gumbura you need to show your christianity there not to be like a baberian or a monestar be apastor by example

abudu omorah mkunga - 19 March 2015

"reliably informed" said VP E.D..... I wonder how from a group of convicts.

X-MAN IV - 19 March 2015

Any sane person who try to move away from one of the dirtiest prisons in the world . So Munangagwa is the one feeding prisoners with shiite . He is such a hartless man like a ngomwa.

Diibulaanyika - 19 March 2015

it seems the arrest of Gumburu was politically motivated considering the merits and facts of the case. the comments of the VP reveall a much more sinister agenda. Gumbura might be guilty, but his case was poorly dealt with coz it was made of circumstantial evidence.

ma1 - 20 March 2015

I think the VP got it wrong. As a lwayer, he cannot make an official pronouncement by saying í'm realiably informed...'' That is hearsay. He is just scapegoating, after full investigations, the truth should come out not just use one person's name because he is infamous. I'm sure there are more dangerous but less known criminals in the section who could benefit more from a breakout than Gumbura. If I was Gumbura I would sue the VP for this. Anywhere the truth is that the prisoners were being fed sadza neroyco. Kana mbwa chaidzo hadzidye zvakadai. Veggie tinongorova wani kumba haringaite kuti vanhu vaite musindo.

Samaita - 20 March 2015

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