1 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Gumbura Guilty, Sentencing Monday

Photo: The Herald
Pastor Gumbura has been slapped with a 40 year jail term for rape

END Time Message pastor Robert Martin Gumbura was on Friday found guilty on four counts of raping three women and one of possessing pornographic material and will be sentenced on Monday.

Gumbura looked calm as regional magistrate Hosiah Mujaya read the lengthy judgment before a packed court room.

The pastor, who has 11 wives and 30 children, faced nine counts of raping six women and one of possessing pornographic material.

The magistrate cleared him on four counts of rape for lack of evidence.

Mujaya said the court was convinced Gumbura misused his position as a pastor to abuse congregants.

"The accused person used religion to threaten the victims and they genuinely believed that he had power over them, power to place them in the hands of Satan," he said.

Gumbura's lawyer urged lenience adding the victims had benefited from her client since they depended on him for survival.

"I urge the court to impose sentences that will run concurrently," said Rekayi Maposa

But prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi, recommended a lengthy prison term of more than 25 years adding this would serve as a deterrent.

"His moral blameworthy is very high in view of his position as a pastor," said Murombedzi.

"He (Gumbura) preyed on the flock he was supposed to shepherd and took them as sex objects. He was selfish. He took the female congregants as his personal property which he would loan to other men.

"He would dictate which man shall marry a female congregant but at a price that he would be the first to be intimate with her."

"A deterrent sentence will help society to have confidence in the justice delivery system."

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