Saturday, 7 October 2017

GUMBURA CORRECTLY CONVICTED : HIGH COURT

Jailed RMG Independent End Time Message leader Robert Martin Gumbura’s freedom bid yesterday hit a brick wall after the High Court ruled that his conviction on four counts of rape and one count of illegally possessing pornographic material was correctly arrived at. Justices Charles Hungwe and Edith Mushore, sitting as an Appeals Court, confirmed Gumbura’s conviction, saying the church leader was indeed a danger to society and deserved to be listed in the Register of Sex Offenders – if there was any – as a way of protecting children and women from abuse.

A judgement penned by Justice Mushore, with the concurrence of Justice Hungwe, reads: “As far as I concern myself, appellant is a personification of what Professor Geoff Feltoe refers to as ‘‘the Evil of Abuse’’ (See Prof Feltoe’s article title: Strengthening Our Law on Child Sexual Abuse) in which he makes calls for other protective measures such as a Register of Sex Offenders.

“Appellant 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 (lower court) correctly convicted appellant in counts 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The appeal against conviction on all counts is dismissed.” Gumbura, who was denied bail pending appeal, wanted the High Court to set aside the lower court’s decision and acquit him of the charges.

Gumbura faced nine counts of raping six women and one of possessing pornographic material. The trial magistrate found him guilty of four counts of rape and one of illegally possessing pornographic material. In his grounds of appeal, Gumbura accused the trial magistrate of negating his duties, arguing that he did not evaluate evidence of the witnesses to come up with an appropriate decision. He argued that the magistrate was swayed by non-legal considerations and passed a moral judgement.

For rape, Gumbura was sentenced to 50 years in prison before 10 years were conditionally set aside, leaving him to serve 40 years effectively. He was also jailed four months for breaching the Censorship and Entertainment Act. The sentence will run concurrently with the 40-year jail term. It was the court’s finding that Gumbura regularly used sex enhancement drugs and that he owned pornographic CDs, which contained scenes of group sex. Justice Mushore said Gumbura prevailed over his victims through death threats. Herald

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