Trial date for ‘rape pastor’

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HARARE – A bevy of women yesterday besieged the Harare Magistrates’ Court, as Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura, facing multiple rape charges, was brought back in the dock.

Court number 16 was yesterday filled to the rafters with beautiful and neatly dressed women, waiting to hear proceedings in their pastor’s multiple rape charges.

Gumbura, whose bail was recently revoked by High Court Judge Nicholas Mathonsi, is currently in custody.

Mathonsi gave Gumbura up to December 9 to make a fresh bail application.

Gumbura’s rape accusations date back to 2003 and it involves church congregants and the use of pornographic material.

His trial failed to kick off yesterday and is set to commence on December 9.

According to State papers, the controversial pastor allegedly raped a 28-year-old South African woman in 2003.

It is alleged the woman joined Gumbura’s church in 1998 in Shurugwi.

The woman began staying with Gumbura in 2002, after he adopted  her as his child, the court heard.

Gumbura began abusing the woman in 2003 and threatened her with death if she refused to comply.

He continued demanding sex from the woman, who did not report the matter to the police, based on the church’s doctrine that Christians do not take each other to court, but resolve their issues in church.

Prosecutors allege that one of the offences were committed in January 2005, when Gumbura picked a parishioner (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.

Gumbura allegedly raped the woman, before repeating the act the following week.

The woman reportedly fell pregnant on two occasions but Gumbura forced her to abort.

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 a church service in November 2005.

State alleges another woman was sexually molested in 2009, after being called to the pastor’s offices by Tendai Ganyani.

He allegedly raped another 17-year-old Shurugwi girl (name withheld) in January this year.

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