The old adage “it never rains but pours” appears to be coming into reality for RTG Independent End Time Message Church founder Robert Martin Gumbura, who was on Monday morning granted bail by the High Court, but was shortly after rearrested and remanded in custody for another two fresh cases of rape.
He was remanded to December 9 this year by provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe after prosecutor Sharon Mashavira opposed bail.
The man of cloth now faces a total of eight counts of rape although the Prosecutor General (PG)’s Office conceded before Justice Esther Muremba, who granted Gumbura $500 bail, that the strength of the State case in the matters was weak.
In respect of the fresh charges, Gumbura is alleged to have raped a 17-year-old teenager and a 28-year-old woman in 2002 and 2012 respectively after pretending to be a “Good Samaritan” to the two church members.
Upon his arrest in respect of the latest rape charges, last month, Gumbura is said to have been found in possession of pornographic material in his bedroom and sexual enhancement drugs.
Police also recovered video recordings where Gumbura allegedly conducted sermons cursing the people who had reported him to police and “putting them in the hands of the devil for them to get killed”.
Earlier this week, Gumbura (57) and his co-accused Tendai Ganyani (24) were each granted bail with the consent of the State.
PG’s representative Edmore Nyazamba submitted before Justice Muremba that although Gumbura and Ganyani were facing serious allegations, the State was of the view that they were not a flight risk considering the facts of the matters.
“The apparent strength of the State case is on the lower scale in view of the lapse of time between the commission of the offence and the timing and manner of making the complaints,” Nyazamba said in his written response to Gumbura’s bail application.
“In normal situations a complaint of a sexual nature should be done freely and voluntarily, without undue influence or intimidation to the first person to whom the complainant could ordinarily report in the circumstances. There is doubt that the complaint in casu meets the requirements of admissibility of such complaints.”
“The two applicants have no record of previous brushes with the law or that they have a propensity to commit offences.”