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Gumbura blames media for conviction

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JAILED RMG Independent End Time Message Church leader Robert Martin Gumbura, who is serving a 40-year effective jail term for rape, has accused the media of contributing immensely to his conviction by the magistrate through what he termed “sensationalisation” of his sexual encounters with female congregants, which eventually evoked a public outcry.

BY SENIOR COURT REPORTER

The remarks were made by Gumbura’s lawyer Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba while addressing High Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa during an application for bail pending appeal against both conviction and sentence. Judgment was reserved.

Magwaliba said had it not been for the influence of the media, Gumbura would have survived the attack that he was subjected to over his sexual escapades with his flocks.

“With all due respect to the members of the Fourth Estate (media), the magistrate himself accepted that the applicant received bad publicity as a result of sensationalisation of the matter by the media.

“It is very clear that the media only writes what suits them and not what appears in the court record, but what sells their papers,” Magwaliba said.

Magwaliba further said Gumbura must be judged according to the facts presented in court by the witnesses who testified in the matter as opposed to playing to “peoples’ politics”.

“What matters at the end of the day is justice and not what the public say.

“Even if it is accepted that what he did was morally wrong, it does not therefore follow that what he did was illegal,” Magwaliba added.

The lawyer said the magistrate who convicted Gumbura misdirected himself when he relied on a wrong citation of the law.

He urged the court to consider granting Gumbura bail arguing there were high prospects of success on his appeal, an assertion dismissed by prosecutor Editor Mavuto.
Mavuto argued Gumbura used indoctrination to capitalise on female orphans he had offered to protect and take care of.

He said Gumbura was not a proper candidate for bail and as such his application ought to be dismissed.

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