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Pastor faces new rape charges


RMG Independent End Time Message Church founder Robert Martin Gambura appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday over fresh allegations of rape and possession of pornographic materials. Gambura (57) has two other rape counts pending at the court.


He was remanded in custody to December 2 when he appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei together with his confidante and co–accused, Tendai Ganyani (24).

The man of the cloth is facing three counts of rape and a separate charge of contravening the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira told the court that the complainant in the first court was born and raised in the church and her father was a friend and fellow pastor with the accused. In 1987, the complainant’s father allegedly left the church following a fall-out with the accused and was, in line with the church doctrine, “committed into the hands of the devil”.

The father subsequently lost his job at the National Railways of Zimbabwe and left for the United Kingdom in 2002.

The complainant was then raised by her uncle, who is also a member of the church, it is alleged. She later allegedly had a personal relationship with Gambura, who is regarded as “God” and the only authority in the church.

On January 18, 2005, Gambura allegedly took the first complainant to his house for counselling because she was in a relationship with someone who was not a member of the church. He allegedly threatened her after accusing her of having sexual intercourse with an outsider. He is said to have told her the sessions would be longer since she had committed an abomination. The complainant obliged because she feared that she would be committed to the devil if she refused, the court heard.

On January 22, 2005, the accused allegedly called the complainant for another counselling session and read Romans 13:1-7, which talks about submission to authority. The accused then raped the complainant, but she did not report the incident for fear of being cursed.

The following week, the complainant woke up at midnight and allegedly saw the accused in the room and he raped her again.

The abuse, the court heard, continued over a long period and on two separate occasions. The complainant fell pregnant and the pastor allegedly facilitated abortions.

The court also heard that on several occasions, the pastor would order the complainant to perform indecent acts on him and once urinated into the complainant’s mouth saying he was marking his territory. At times the accused allegedly ordered the complainant and others to perform a group sex act with him.

On the second count, Gambura allegedly abused one of his sisters-in-law, who was aged 17 at the time, after a church service in Gweru. He justified his
actions by claiming that it was a revelation from God. The abuse allegedly continued until the complainant left the church after which she reported the sexual harassment.

The complainant in the third count, the court heard, came to stay at the accused’s house in 2009 together with other female church members.

The accused later instructed Ganyani to summon the complainant to his office, after which Ganyani left and locked the door from outside. Gambura then allegedly raped the complainant who only disclosed the abuse after abandoning the church in March 2013.

Two pornographic DVDs hidden in a briefcase in Gambura’s bedroom were recovered during a police raid at his Malborough residence following his arrest.

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