WASHINGTON DC —
The leader of the RGM Independent End Time Message Church, pastor Robert Martin Gumbura has been convicted of four counts of rape and one of possessing pornographic material.
The state is reported to be seeking a sentence of not less than 100 years. Harare magistrate, Hosea Mujaya, is expected to deliver the sentence on Monday.
The state case against Gumbura, who has 11 wives and more than 30 children, is that he raped six women parishioners many times before he was arrested. He had, however, pleaded not guilty to all counts saying he had consensual sex with the women.
He further submitted that the charges against him were a result of the works of his adversaries.
The state led by Jonathan Murombedzi further stated that Gumbura threatened his victims with death or to be committed to the devil if they left his church thus his mitigation was outweighed by the aggravating circumstances.
Gumbura’s lawyer, Rekai Maphosa, told Studio 7 she was going to meet her client Saturday so that they prepare for an appeal.
Reacting to the conviction, independent religious analyst Pastor Useni Sibanda said Gumbura’s case must not be used to as a yardstick to measure the works of all pastors.