HARARE regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya is on January 8 next year expected to deliver judgment in the rape trial of RMG Independent End Time Message Church leader Robert Martin Gumbura, who is charged with nine counts of raping six female members of his church.
PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI,SENIOR REPORTER
Gumbura, who has denied the charges insisting that the sex escapades he had with the female church members were by consent, admitted in court yesterday that he maintained a firm grip on his 11 wives and 31 children and only allowed them to watch television after they had made a formal application.
The polygamous pastor said he did so to protect his family from exposure to “worldly programmes” beamed on television. He said he encouraged them to watch his DVDs.
This was after public prosecutor Jonathan Murombedzi produced a letter written by one of Gumbura’s wives where she was asking if she could now be allowed to watch television.
Murombedzi said the letter demonstrated that Gumbura was a tyrant who had complete oversight over all those under his authority. He said it was for that reason that the women could not report him for raping them.
“You were a tyrant in that church. You used force, threats and intimidation to coerce your congregants into submission and the tapes (of church service recordings viewed in court) simply demonstrate how ruthless you were,” Murombedzi said.
Gumbura applauded the police detectives for being “honest people who did their job very well” and admitted that he was guilty of possession of pornographic materials recovered in his storeroom.
Gumbura — who admitted that he was yet to pay lobola for four of his wives — said his policy was to pay the bride price after the women had conceived. He said it was not his problem that after sleeping with several women, he dumped them on other men.
He further told the court that the security at his home — which was allegedly used to keep his victims under lock and key — was only put in place for his safety after he decided to contest for the Mabvuku/Tafara House of Assembly seat on a Zanu PF ticket.
He dismissed rape allegations raised by one of the complainants and claimed that Meikles and Jameson hotels had become “our second bedrooms”.
He admitted he was unhappy that some people had died after he had cursed them and it had also “dawned on me that I could be mistaken by committing people into the hands of the devil”.