Jailed Gumbura's woes mount

HARARE - Rape convicted cleric Robert Martin Gumbura — currently serving 40 years behind bars — has been dragged back to court for allegedly failing to pay $74 000 for furniture he purchased more than three years ago.

According to court papers, the Independent End Time Message church founder, who was jailed in 2014, operated a credit account with Idem Trading, which trades as Eurotex.

“Of the goods purchased by the defendant (Gumbura) on that account, $74 700 still remains due and payable and of the various items he purchased includes household furniture such as kitchen ware, lounge and dining suite, 125 kva generator, fish tanks, gym bikes, quad bikes, snooker table, office furniture, executive desk and chair,” the court heard.

Eurotex told the court that Gumbura has defaulted paying since October 2013.

“Despite assurances from the defendant and his wives on various occasions to pay the outstanding amount, nothing has come out of the said assurances to date,” the court heard.

The company is now seeking an order to compel Gumbura to settle the outstanding amount.

In response, Gumbura, through his lawyers IEG Musimbe and Partners, said he bought the said items three years ago on different dates.

He said the leather lounge suit was purchased sometime in 2011, while the fish tank was bought in 2007.

Gumbura told the court that he paid for the two items.

“The plaintiff further gave the defendant the room divider for free and there was no obligation for the defendant to pay for the room divider.

“The plaintiff is making up its claim by pulling out figures from its head. Its claim is said to be based on the purchase and sell of at least nine furniture items. However, when it comes to reconciling the figures, only four furniture items are said to have been paid for,” Gumbura said, querying how the claim amounts to $74 000.

He told the court that he is not in any way indebted to Eurotex to the amount being claimed.

Pursuant to his argument, Gumbura demanded a detailed breakdown of how the amount of $74 700 was arrived at, and the credit facility agreement between him and Eurotex.

He further demanded invoices for the items that he is said to have purchased.

The matter will go for a pre-trial conference tomorrow before the High Court.

Gumbura’s lawyers have since written a letter dated May 9, 2017 to the High Court registrar, stating that they are in the process of securing the clergyman’s attendance from Chikurubi Maximum Prison, where he is doing time.

“We seek the honourable court’s indulgence and directive in the event that our client will be unable to attend the pre-trial conference as scheduled,” the lawyers said.

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