HARARE – An Independent End Time Message former congregate sensationally revealed yesterday that all female parishioners in their church belonged to the founder Robert Martin Gumbura.
Innocent Nehowa told the court that no woman could be married without Gumbura’s consent, as all women belonged to him.
He was some god or deity, according to the church doctrine.
“There is a teaching that all women at church belong to the pastor,” Nehowa said. “When you want to marry someone, you ask for permission from the pastor.
“You are given the woman on loan and the pastor can request to have her at any time he wants.”
He said anyone who defied his laws would be cast in the hands of Satan, a move that would see Gumbura praying for bad things to befall the “rebel”. Some of the bad things included losing employment, divorcing or dying.
However, Gumbura’s lawyer Rekai Maposa said there was bad blood between Nehowa and her client. She said Nehowa was being used by Pastor Godwin Chitsinde from Spoken Word Ministries in a plot aimed at bringing Gumbura down.
Nehowa, who fellowshiped at the church between 1990 and 2000, said Gumbura was not being prosecuted but persecuted.
He said he left the church after having a fall-out with Gumbura over the pastor’s abuses.
Nehowa later formed his own church.
Another 45-year-old woman later testified how Gumbura raped her in April 2010 after inviting her to his office, where she was to collect money that had been sent by her husband from South Africa.
He allegedly caressed and licked the woman’s neck before raping her.
The woman said Gumbura gave her lectures, claiming he was in a position to provide her with money, accommodation and even sex.
He also said he had power to do anything he wanted with her, because he was her pastor.
She said she only reported the matter to the police this year, after reading a newspaper article.
After reading the story, she said, she discovered that it was possible to bring Gumbura to book, after he had threatened her that nothing would happen, even if she was to report the matter to the police.