Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » I’m Too Sick to Stand Trial, Says Gumbura

Rape convict and RMG Independent End Time Message leader Robert Martin Gumbura yesterday told a magistrate that he was suffering from multiple illnesses and could not stand trial on fresh rape charges. Gumbura is jointly charged with his secretary Tendai Ganyani. The trial failed to start for the second time after Gumbura said he had diarrhoea, influenza, chest pains, backache, headaches and dizziness and was vomiting.

Gumbura, who is serving a 40-year jail term for rape, allegedly raped a minor he adopted with Ganyani’s assistance.

However, proceedings stuttered when prosecutor Ms Kudzai Chigwedere aised the court that the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services had distanced themselves from a letter “confirming” that Gumbura was too ill to stand trial.

Ms Chigwedere said, “The person who signed this letter is not the officer-in-charge, who indicated that he is not aware of the letter. At the moment we have information that the letter is being disputed by the officer-in-charge. As it stands, we have no proof that the accused is sick.”

Gumbura’s lawyer, Ms Rekai Maposa, disputed that Gumbura could have forged the letter while in custody.

“It is the State which informed me that Gumbura is sick and for it to disown its own document raises eyebrows,” she said. “The accused is in custody and cannot forge a letter. I also have a card from Chikurubi Maximum (Prison) authored by health personnel confirming that indeed Gumbura is sick.”

Ms Chigwedere called ZPSC’s Superintendent Takaruza Pasipanodya to clarify the issue.

Supt Pasipanodya confirmed signing the letter on the officer-in-charge’s behalf.

“In our morning briefing, I aised the officer-in-charge of the developments and he later called the accused to his office,” he said. “The officer-in-charge later indicated that the accused was fit to stand trial. The accused agreed to come to court to explain his situation.”

Harare magistrate Ms Fadzai Mtombeni questioned Gumbura on his illnesses to which he responded: “I cannot wait for more than an hour without visiting the toilet. I cannot concentrate, I am fighting not to vomit here in court and this bench is killing my back. I am now on medication, but I can not stand trial today.”

Ms Mtombeni postponed the matter to April 10 to allow the rape complainant to testify because she is scheduled to travel to South Africa.

The State alleged that Gumbura took aantage 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.

Gumbura and Ganyani deny the charge.

Source : The Herald