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Gumbura ditched by lawyers

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RMG Independent End Time Message Church leader Robert Martin Gumbura, who is currently serving a 40-year jail term for raping his female congregants, was yesterday dumped by his lawyers Rekai Maphosa and Advocate Tembinkosi Magwaliba, who renounced agency shortly before he filed his appeal against both conviction and sentence.

PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
SENIOR REPORTER

Gumbura (57) was jailed last year for raping three female congregants from his church and possessing pornographic material.

High Court judges of appeal Justices Felistas Chatukuta and David Mangota, however, ordered Maphosa and Magwaliba to file an application for renouncing agency after another lawyer, Tapson Dzvetero, had told the court he was Gumbura’s new lawyer.

The court then instructed Dzvetero to file assumption of agency before the matter was postponed indefinitely.

In his notice appeal against conviction and sentence, Gumbura argued that the lower court’s findings and subsequent 40-year jail sentence were erroneous.

He pleaded with the High Court to quash both conviction and sentence passed by Harare magistrate Hoseah Mujaya.

Gumbura further argued that the magistrate did not do his work properly as the complainants’ evidence were not credible.

He said the trial magistrate should have acquitted him, but chose to negate his duties by failing to critically examine each sexual intercourse allegation.

“Most fundamentally, the honourable court was obligated to critically examine each allegation of sex in the surrounding circumstances,” Gumbura filed.

He said the court should also have considered whether the delay in reporting the sexual offences was not a factor indicative of the consensual nature of the sex.

The National Prosecuting Authority, represented by Editor Mavuto, has, however, stood its ground saying the sentence handed down by the lower court was appropriate given the overwhelming evidence presented during trial.

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