Gumbura's appeal hearing set for today

HARARE - Jailed Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura’s appeal will be heard today before two High Court judges.

Gumbura is currently serving an effective 40-year prison term after Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya convicted him 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.

The appeal will be heard today before High Court judges Felistas Chatukuta and David Mangota. The appeal hearing was postponed indefinitely in January when Gumbura sought the services of a new lawyer.

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 argued in his appeal that the magistrate misdirected himself when he found him guilty and sentenced him to 40 years.

He said that 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 the narrative of the complainants, discarding the explanation given by the appellant and the probabilities.”

He said that 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 said.

“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.”

During his bail application, prosecutor Editor Mavuto said that Gumbura had no prospects of success on appeal.

Meanwhile, the Harare Magistrates’ Courts has stayed proceedings in Gumbura’s further rape charge, pending the hearing of a High Court application for review.

He is still to stand trial on September 1 on charges of masterminding food riots at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and participating in a foiled jailbreak.

Comments (1)

Problem ya Gumbura, kuda kuratidza hunyanzvi. Imbo chilla and confess all your sins and pray without ceasing, Mwari anokunzvira tsitsi. Hameno kuti vanhu munorasika papi. Kana waita mhosva, namata and be a living testimony.

Ngwekazi - 6 August 2015

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