THE trial of four of RMG Independent End Time Message Church founder Robert Martin Gumbura’s wives — who are facing charges of illegal possession of pornographic materials together with four other church women – is set to begin next week.
Although the State, represented by Michael Reza, told provincial magistrate Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe yesterday that they were ready for trial, the accused persons’ lawyer, Rekai Maphosa, requested for more time to get instructions from her clients.
Reza told the court that their witness, Censorship Board chairperson James Malaba, was ready to testify.
Gumbura’s wives — Choice Neganye (32), Amadeus Mutakwa (32), Pamela Mukandawire (27) and Runyararo Musvosvi (27) — are facing charges of production and dissemination of undesirable pictures.
They are being charged together with other female church members Rutendo Sekai Mandiya (28), Veronica Mbanga (27), Tendai Kwatara (34) and Moreblessing Takawira (35).
The women, all of whom reside at Gumbura’s house at Number 6 Helena Close in Malborough, Harare, are on $30 bail each.
The State’s case is that on October 21 last year, a team of police officers from the Victim Friendly Unit received information that there were incidences of abuses against women and children at Gumbura’s residence.
The following day, a team of five police officers went to the house to carry out a search.
During the search, the police officers allegedly recovered 16 pornographic DVDs and 57 pictures of the accused persons posing naked.
The court heard that the pictures were taken to the Censorship and Entertainment Board for an opinion and Malaba concluded that 49 of the pictures were “indecent, obscene and objectionable and should, therefore, be rejected, banned and prohibited”.
The pictures are set to be produced in court as exhibits.
Meanwhile, Gumbura, whose trial on nine rape counts involving six members of his RMG End Time Message Church caused a media frenzy late last year, will know his fate today.
Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya is expected to deliver judgment to the matter after over a month-long trial.