HARARE – Independent End Time Message former congregant yesterday told the court how she contemplated committing suicide after a series of sexual abuses by the church founder Robert Martin Gumbura.
The woman (name withheld), who now lives in South Africa, said she had to leave the church after Gumbura kissed and fondled her breasts, before attempting to rape her in 1988.
During that time, the woman said she was still 20 years old and single.
“Since this was so hard on me, I decided to commit suicide,” she said.
She further told the court that during the time, she was dating her boyfriend who later became her husband.
The boyfriend was troubled and sought Gumbura’s assistance.
Gumbura called the woman and asked her not to tell anyone or her boyfriend about the abuse, since this was an issue between the two of them.
She further said it was also church doctrine that issues should not be resolved by outsiders as Gumbura feared that the reports would destroy his ministry.
Gumbura told the woman that he had plans to marry her, before reading scriptures written by Brennan, dealing with polygamy.
She said her husband later fell ill before he was admitted in hospital for a surgical operation.
She said she called Gumbura to advise him about her husband’s condition but said the pastor began making sexual advances again, claiming he still loved her.
After her husband was discharged from hospital, they later went together to see the pastor.
The woman’s husband later left the two to discuss and Gumbura continued telling the woman that he still loved her, adding that the way he admonished her husband in church was a way of taking aim at him for marrying a woman he loved.
Incensed by Gumbura’s actions, the woman wrote a letter to him in 2006, advising him that she was leaving the church.
She later left for South Africa following her husband’s death in 2007.
However, Gumbura’s lawyer Rekai Maposa said the woman was working in consent with police officers to fabricate charges against the pastor to ensure his downfall.
The woman refuted the claims, explaining that the letter she wrote to Gumbura was submitted in 2006, before the allegations against him were raised.