HARARE – Independent End Time Message founder Robert Martin Gumbura solicited for sex from married church women, Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya heard yesterday.
A former church congregant (name withheld) who testified yesterday told the court how she left the church after Gumbura began making advances towards her, demanding to have sex with her.
Gumbura is facing multiple rape charges involving church congregants.
The woman is an aunt to one of the victims, who told the court several abuses she suffered at the hands of the pastor.
She said she has attended pastor Gumbura’s church since 1979 until 2006, when she left, saying the pastor often reprimanded her and accused her of having bewitched a child from the church who had just died.
“I refused to do that (having sex with Gumbura) because it was not in line with Bible principles,” the 49-year-old woman said.
The woman said the victim had told her about the abuse by Gumbura, but she did not report the matter to the police, because the church doctrine did not allow church issues to be solved by heathens.
She said Gumbura had threatened all church members that if they defied him, he would “put them in the hands of Satan”. She however, said after she left the church nothing happened to her and instead she is getting more blessings, despite having been committed into the hands of Satan.
“We treated him as a god,” she said, adding that when she left the church, she wrote a letter to Gumbura detailing why she had left and had also included the rape allegations.
Earlier on, the State’s first witness had told the court during cross-examination how Gumbura subjected her to group sex, together with one of the pastor’s wives and another woman, who is elder wife to the victim’s husband.
She said she last had sex with Gumbura who has 11 wives and 30 children in April this year.
During trial proceedings Gumbura sat attentively in the dock, donning khaki prison garb, clutching his Bible — while his wives who came in full support of him sat in the gallery wearing blue and white clothes.
Gumbura is represented by Rekai Maposa and Emmanuel Samundombe, while Jonathan Murombedzi and Kudzai Chigwedere appeared for the State.