Home » Judicial » Gumbura Takes Bail Fight to Supreme Court

CONVICTED pastor-cum-rapist Robert Gumbura has made yet another attempt to secure freedom by challenging at the Supreme Court the dismissal of his application for bail pending appeal by the High Court.

His attorney, Thembinkosi Magwaliba, filed the application with the apex court challenging a decision by Justice Joseph Musakwa who, in May, turned down the appeal stating that Gumbura was a “disgraceful” man who “justified his sexual appetite to force himself on hapless congregates”.

“There is no sound explanation as to why there were delays in reporting the rape to the police,” argued Gumbura in the fresh freedom bid.

Gumbura is willing to pay US$1,000 bail and to surrender title deeds of his Marlborough property, among other bail conditions.

The fresh bid for bail is being made pending the appeal of both the conviction and sentence.

Magwaliba said the High Court judge erred when he ruled that the appeal had no prospects of success and also in turning down the bail application.

Gumbura, head of RGM End Time Message Church, is serving a 40-year jail term after being convicted of five counts of rape and contravening the Censorship and Entertainment Controls Act.

His lawyers are challenging the sentence, arguing that the charges were fabricated by aersaries, implicating one pastor Godwin Chitsinde.

But the High Court dismissed his claims stating that “the trial court did believe the complainants and indeed one cannot think they made such sordid accounts just to lend support to religious wars waged by Pastor Chitsinde”.

Justice Musakwa said pastors and priests were the people least expected to commit such crimes.

Gumbura was accused of abusing girls from his church threatening them with “God’s curse” if they reported the abuse to anyone.

The court said “the complainants appear to have been in some kind of bondage. They did not appear to have been free to travel as they liked.

“It is either they would be escorted by a driver or by Queen Bunga (Gumbura’s second wife). Although escape from Marlborough premises was possible, it was not easy as observed by the trial court.”

Musakwa said threats made by Gumbura to place his victims into the hand of Satan were real as Bible verses were quoted to back up the threats.

“The complainants could have genuinely believed the effect of the curses.”

Source : New Zimbabwe