HARARE – Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura has been remanded in custody after appearing before the courts facing rape charges.
Gumbura was remanded to December 2 when he appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei.
He was advised to apply for bail at the High Court.
He was first arraigned before the courts last month facing allegations of raping two women married to a member of his flock, one after the other, in one day.
Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleges that on January 18 2005, Gumbura picked one of his parishioners (name withheld) from her workplace to his house for counselling because she had engaged in a relationship with someone who was not their church member.
He allegedly demanded to have sexual intercourse with her but she refused and told him she was menstruating.
She later obliged for fear of being cursed and put in the hands of the devil by Gumbura. He had told her that she had committed an abomination by engaging with an outsider.
Mashavira further alleged that the following evening, Gumbura called her to his bedroom and read Bible verses, explaining that he had brought her salvation and had the right to “reap from her body in the form of sexual intercourse.”
It is the state’s case that on January 22, Gumbura locked her in a room before telling her he had given her enough time to finish her menstrual periods, before forcing himself on her.
The following week, she woke and found Gumbura standing naked beside her bed.
He demanded sexual intercourse without her consent, it is alleged.
She reportedly fell pregnant on two occasions but was forced to abort.
The court heard Gumbura would force her to commit oral indecencies on his privates, urinate on her stomach and sometimes perform group sex with several other participants.
She finally made a police report on October 24 this year.
The state claims Gumbura also sexually abused his sixth wife’s sister, after luring her to buy ice cream after church service, sometime in November 2005.
It is further alleged that sometime in 2009, another victim was summoned to Gumbura’s office by Tendai Ganyani.
Upon arrival, Ganyani locked the doors, leaving the pastor and his alleged victim alone in the office.
He allegedly undressed himself and forced himself on the complainant.
After the incident, Ganyani returned to unlock the doors.
The victim did not tell anyone because she feared being cursed and rebuked.
She later reported on March 18 after realising nothing had happened to other victims who had disclosed the matter.