Jailed RMG Independent End Time Message church founder, Robert Martin Gumbura, was yesterday removed from remand in a case in which he is accused of raping yet another woman with the assistance of his secretary, Tendai Ganyani.
Gumbura was initially charged with raping seven women. When trial started, one of the victims, a minor he had adopted, was out of the country. The matter took off in respect of other complainants that were available.
The outstanding trial later commenced on April 29, 2014 when the victim returned from South Africa. Gumbura and Ganyani then made an application for discharge at the close of the State’s case, which was dismissed by regional magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo.
Through their lawyer Mr Tapson Dzvetero, the pair approached the High Court two years ago for a review of the magistrate’s ruling. The application was still pending.
The prosecutor Mrs Kudzai Chigwedere sought for postponements of the matter on several occasions, saying she was waiting for communication from head office on the court application.
Mr Dzvetero successfully applied for refusal of further remand. Mr Makomo removed the duo from remand on the basis that it had taken time for the registrar to set down the matter for review.
He said the State would not suffer any prejudice if Gumbura and Ganyani were freed pending the determination of their application.
Mr Makomo advised the State to proceed by way of summons if need be. The State alleged that Gumbura took advantage of the underprivileged girl and raped her with Ganyani’s help.
Ganyani allegedly ordered the girl to go into Gumbura’s office and she locked the door from outside. After raping the girl, it is alleged, Gumbura phoned Ganyani to unlock the door.
Both Gumbura and Ganyani are denying the charge. Gumbura is already serving a 40-year jail term after he was convicted of four counts of rape involving three women and of possessing pornographic material in February 2014.
Of the four counts of rape, Mr Hoseah Mujaya sentenced Gumbura to 50 years behind bars and four months for possession of pornographic material. Ten years of the term were set aside on condition of good behaviour and the four months are running concurrently with the 40-year-jail term.
Through his lawyers Advocate Sylvester Hashiti instructed by Mr Tapson Dzvetero, Gumbura appealed at the High Court against both conviction and sentence and the ruling was reserved