Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Gumbura Deserves Bail, Argues Lawyer

RMG End Time Message Church leader Robert Martin Gumbura should be judged on the facts established in his case without the influence of the people’s moral opinions that are not supported by law, the High Court heard yesterday.

Addressing the court in Gumbura’s bail application, Aocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba said fears by the State that his client’s release on bail might cause public outcry was not a good ground to deny him bail when he has a good case at law.

A Magwaliba argued that media reports at times may not be accurate and are meant to sell hence the agenda they set should not be considered as good grounds to deny Gumbura his right to liberty as enshrined in the Constitution.

“The magistrate himself accepts that the appellant received bad publicity during the course of his trial. This was due to the sensationalisation of his stories.

“They highlight what sells their newspapers and they are not bound to stick on the legal arguments like court officials,” he said.

A Magwaliba said even if it was to be accepted that what Gumbura did was morally wrong, it does not translate the acts to be legally wrong.

“He must be judged according to the facts established in his case. It is not an overwhelming consideration that the public will make an outcry.

What matters is the issue of justice which must be done,” said A Magwaliba.

The court heard that Gumbura’s conviction was premised on a magistrate’s application of wrong principles of law that treated the complainants as women of unsound mind who cannot resist or consent to intimacy, the High Court heard yesterday.

A Magwaliba argued that the trial magistrate relied on case authorities that only apply to complainants who have mental problems, when the women are normal human beings who fully appreciate what they do.

“In evaluating the evidence of the complainants on their states of mind, the magistrate relied on case authorities which deal with indocile, idiots or those intoxicated so as to fail to understand what they do.

“In our circumstances, the complainants were of sound mind and they fully appreciate what they were doing and consented to the sexual intercourse. They could exercise their judgment,” he said.

Responding to the application, law officer Mr Editor Mavuto counter-argued that the court made a correct finding and that Gumbura was correctly convicted and sentenced.

“The magistrate correctly analysed and evaluated the evidence of all witnesses and that is why the appellant was convicted on four counts of rape and acquitted on five others.

“The appellant does not comment on how he was acquitted on the five counts but only deals with the four counts he was convicted,” said Mr Mavuto.

He urged the court to deny Gumbura bail saying the lengthy prison term of 40 years imposed on him, coupled with the fact that he has already tested the sentence, may induce him to abscond court if granted bail.

Mr Mavuto admitted that all the complainants delayed to report the rape allegations but their circumstances did not allow them to do so.

But A Magwaliba said all of them had chances of either reporting the matters to the police or escaping from Gumbura’s house but they did not.

One of them, according to A Magwaliba, used to commute from Seke Teachers’ College where she was a student to Marlborough in Harare every weekend to be “raped”.

The court also heard that one of the women would go to Greencroft shops monthly to collect her money from Ecocash but never thought of escaping or reporting the matter.

Ruling in the bail application has been reserved to an undisclosed date.

Source : The Herald

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