Incarcerated RMG Independent End Times Message founder, Robert Martin Gumbura’s appeal against conviction over raping female congregants has been dismissed by the High Court judges of appeal, who described him as “the evil of abuse”.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Judges of appeal Justices Charles Hungwe and Edith Mushore presided over the appeal and dismissed it, saying regional magistrate, Hosea Mujaya correctly convicted the cleric in February 2014.
Gumbura is serving a 40-year jail term after he was convicted of four counts of rape and a count under the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act.
Following his conviction, through his lawyer, Sylvester Hashiti, who was being instructed by Tapson Dzvetero, Gumbura filed an appeal, arguing his conviction was improper given that the complainants in the matter were not credible witnesses, as they failed to demonstrate that they acted under indoctrination, when they so consented to sleeping with him.
In her 32-page judgment, Justice Mushore said: “Zimbabwe is lagging behind other countries in the creation of legislation to protect minor children and in catering legislatively for instances where the psychology involved in sexual exploitation of children is involved.
“It seems to me that children should not be subjected to the same standards and burdens of proving resistance and lack of consent as an adult person.
Particularly, when taking into account their lack of sophistication, knowledge and their natural tendency to be obedient to adults and in particular persons of authority over them,” she said referring to instances, where Gumbura argued the minors consented to sexual intercourse.
“… In the instant matter, I was not impressed by the appellant’s defence. As far as I concern myself, appellant is a personification of what Geoff Feltoe refers to as the evil of abuse … applicant is a depraved individual, who degraded and objectified his victims. He is clearly the stuff that nightmares are made of. In my view, the court a quo correctly convicted appellant in counts 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10.”